Monkfish tail with blackened spices, cracked wheat and lightly spiced mussels

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Marcus Eaves' spiced monkfish recipe offers a masterclass in pairing warming spices with seafood. The monkfish is lightly salted and rested before being coated in the black curry powder and cooked in the oven. The shellfish stock is best made from cooked mussels, alternatively, use clam juice or good quality fish stock. Ensure to taste for salt levels before adding to the sauce.

First published in 2015




Monkfish tail

Cracked wheat

Mussel cream sauce

Butternut squash purée


  • Muslin cloth
  • Blender
  • Fine strainer


To prepare the monkfish, fillet and skin the tail. Salt the monkfish by liberally sprinkling with coarse sea salt until completely covered. Place on a tray and leave to sit for 6 minutes
Wash off the excess sea salt, wrap the fish in a kitchen cloth and store in the fridge for 6 hours. Portion when needed
For the cracked wheat, heat a thin film of olive oil in a medium saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the cumin, shallot, thyme, marjoram, bay and garlic and sweat until soft and aromatic
Add the apricots and sultanas and cook for 2 minutes, then add the ras el hanout. Cook for a further 2 minutes until lightly golden
  • 1 tsp apricot, chopped
  • 3 tsp sultanas
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout
In a separate saucepan, bring the chicken stock to the boil and remove from the heat. Add the cracked wheat to the sultana and ras el hanout mix and increase the heat until the wheat turns slightly golden in colour. Pour over the boiling chicken stock, mix well and cover the pan with cling film
  • 400g of white chicken stock
  • 200g of cracked wheat
Leave to rest for 20 minutes in a warm place, then run a fork through the mix until fluffy and well combined. Refrigerate until required
For the mussel cream sauce, add a thin film of olive oil to a medium saucepan placed over a medium heat. Once hot, sweat the vegetables, ras el hanout, saffron and curry powder. Add the tomato paste and cook out for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Reduce the heat if the mix is catching on the base of the pan
Add the fish or mussel stock and cook until reduced by half, then add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes
  • 150ml of shellfish stock, mussels
  • 110ml of double cream
Add the yoghurt to the sauce and bring to the boil, then squeeze in some lemon juice and season. Pass through a fine sieve, then pass again through a sheet of muslin cloth and reserve in a clean saucepan
For the purée, cut the butternut squash into a medium-sized chunks and place into a saucepan with the butter and curry powder. Place a lid on top and allow the contents of the pan to sweat on a low-medium heat until soft, approximately 15-20 minutes
Remove the lid, add the chicken stock and double cream and cook for an additional 2 minutes, then transfer to a blender. Blitz until very smooth, pass through a fine strainer and season with salt to taste. Set aside until ready to reheat
  • 100ml of chicken stock
  • 20ml of double cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To cook the monkfish, coat the fish in the black curry powder and place in the oven for 6-8 minutes, or until firm. Leave to rest for 4 minutes before slicing
  • 2 tbsp of black curry powder
Place the cracked wheat in a non-stick pan and heat up before stirring in the chopped coriander and mint
Lightly cook the broccoli in salted boiling water until tender, approximately 2-3 minutes. Strain and keep warm
Divide the warm cracked wheat mixture between 4 plates, or 2 for slightly larger portions. Reheat the butternut squash purée and place 2 dollops on either side
Place the monkfish on top, followed by the broccoli and sauce. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

Followers of Marcus Eaves’ career can’t be surprised to see him earning wide acclaim for his delicious cooking at Oblix, a restaurant at the top of London's Shard building.

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