Skewered Monkfish Kebabs with Green Charmoula Dressing and Caper Mayonnaise
My dear mother Evelyn, to who I owe not just my life but also my love of food, insisted I find a way of mentioning her in this book. She used to make a version of this dish for my brothers and me when we were kids. This is a riff on her dish, which I always used to love. Monkfish has an almost meat-like quality to it, great for the barbecue and perfect for sandwiching between bits of bread. Play around with the fillings. Go crazy.
|For the monfish:|
|800g||monkfish tail, skinned and filleted (ask your fishmonger)|
|zest of 1 lemon|
|2||cardamom pods, seeds ground|
|1||small bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced, white parts only, green parts reserved (see below)|
|4||thin metal skewers, 30-35cm long|
|For the green charmoula:|
|green parts of spring onion (see above), sliced thinly|
|2 tbsp||finely chopped coriander|
|1 tbsp||chopped flat-leaf parsley|
|2||garlic cloves, grated|
|3||green chilli, finely chopped|
|1 tsp||ground cumin|
|2 tbsp||lemon juice|
|For the caper mayonnaise:|
|1 tbsp||soured cream|
|1 tbsp||capers, drained and rinsed|
|To garnish and serve:|
|1||large baguette, cut into 4 pieces, sliced open|
|sliced green parts of spring onion|
|picked coriander leaves|
You will need: metal skewers.
FOR THE MONKFISH Portion the monkfish into rough 5cm pieces and transfer to a bowl. Grate the garlic and lemon zest over the top. Add the olive oil, ground cardamom seeds, the white part of the sliced spring onion and some seasoning. Work the marinade into the fish using your hands. Set aside, covered and refrigerated, for at least 1 hour, preferably 4–6 hours.
FOR THE GREEN CHARMOULA In a bowl, combine half the sliced spring onion greens with the remaining ingredients for the charmoula, except the lemon juice and seasoning, and set aside until required. You can make this mix in advance and keep it refrigerated until required. Reserve the remaining half of the spring onion greens for garnish. Fold the lemon juice through the chermoula just prior to using. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Add more lemon juice if necessary.
FOR THE CAPER MAYONNAISE Combine the mayonnaise, soured cream and capers in a small bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
TO FINISH THE MONKFISH Set a barbecue up for single-zone, direct grilling (page 17) – ensuring that you are cooking over medium-hot embers. Thread the monkfish onto metal skewers and grill directly over the coals for 4–5 minutes on each side, basting with the marinade juices. (If the fish is sticking to the grill, leave for a few minutes, until it releases naturally; don’t force it.) The kebabs should be nicely coloured on the surface and be firm to the touch, with just the slightest give when pressed. Ideally, the flesh should still be blushing and moist, not dry. For this, there is no substitute for practice.
TO GARNISH AND SERVE Brush the bottom half of each baguette with the caper mayonnaise. Remove the fish from the skewers, using the individual baguette pieces as a glove to safely handle and de-skewer the kebab. Liberally drizzle the green charmoula over the entire sandwich, so that it soaks into the bread as well as coating the fish. Garnish with spring onions and coriander leaves.