Here’s a recipe for Christmas Eve or parties with friends and family. This is based on Darina Allen’s Simply Delicious Christmas book and is rather retro as it was originally written in 1989! (and reprinted in 2002).
Ingredients for 4. (Can be scaled up for parties)
500g of monkfish or scallops.
I onion, chopped(50gs); 30g butter and 60g/2tablespoon flour/cornflour.
Dry white wine, 500ml fish stock.
125 g /4oz/cup sliced mushrooms.
1 tablespoon parsley, fennel and thyme mixed.
Salt and freshly ground pepper.
Creamy milk/half milk and single cream.
100gm /2oz Cheddar Cheese or Cornish Yarg.
Duchesse potato for piping or spreading around the edge of the serving dish.
1.Trim monkfish tail and cut into 1cm/half inch thick slices, cut fish at an angle – or cut large scallops in half.
2.Use a heavy saucepan – stainless steel or enamelled pan. Add fish slices and cover with white wine and 250ml half fish stock or water. Bring to the boil and poach for 2/3 mins only.
3.Remove fish and continue to boil the liquor until 200ml/2/3pint approx.
4.Cook chopped onions in melted butter for 5-8minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 mins. Stir in the flour and cook for 1min stirring all the time, add liquor with the milk added (300ml total) gradually.
5.Add the freshly chopped herbs /dried herbs. Sauce should be smooth and tasty – check taste. Correct the taste, add the fish into the sauce and cook lightly for 2mins only!
6.Pipe a border of duchesse potatoes -mashed and creamed or spread around the edge of a serving dish and add the sauce, sprinkle top with grated cheese. (This can be cooled and warmed later. When required, reheat in a cool oven 190F or Gas 5 for 20 mins. to melt the cheese).
To serve immediately, heat under the grill for approx. 5mins to melt the cheese.
Serve with a good green salad.
Happy Christmas and a very Prosperous New Year!