By chef Mark Hix
Cockles in vinegar in little polystyrene pots bring back memories of being by the seaside. Fresh cockles, though, are sweet and delicious. Otherwise, simply use clams or more mussels instead. Monkfish is becoming increasingly expensive owing to the demand, but any firm white fish will work well here.
If the monkfish pieces are very thick, preheat the oven to 23°C/gas mark 8 and heat a roasting pan. Whatever their thickness, lightly season the monkfish with salt and pepper. Heat a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the fillets for about 3 minutes on each side, until they are nicely coloured. Transfer very thick fillets to the hot roasting pan and finish cooking in the hot oven for another 5–10 minutes, or until cooked.
Meanwhile, give the cockles and mussels a final rinse, discarding any mussels that stay open when given a sharp tap. Put them into a large pan with the white wine and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over a high heat for 3–4 minutes until they open, shaking the pan frequently and giving them an occasional stir. Drain in a colander, reserving the liquid, then pour the liquid back into the pan.
Add the parsley and butter to the pan and keep stirring until the butter has melted. Return the molluscs to the pan, discarding any that haven’t opened, adjust the seasoning and stir well.
To serve, carefully remove the monkfish from the pan with a fish slice and place on warm plates. Add the mussels and cockles, then spoon the parsley butter over the top to serve.
This recipe is featured in our book Signature Chefs South West & Channel Islands. Click here for more information.
Ingredients for four servings:
- 4 Monkfish Fillets, Each About 200G
- Sea Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1–2 Tbsp Vegetable Or Cold-Pressed Rapeseed Oil
- 150G Cockles Or Clams, Rinsed
- 125G Mussels, Scrubbed And Any Beards Removed
- 50Ml White Wine
- 1 Tbsp Chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley
- 75G Unsalted Butter, Diced