Our customer Emma Spitzer is not only a Masterchef finalist but she has just published a new cookbook. It has lots of tasty fish dishes including this spiced monkfish recipe (and we were delighted to get a mention as well!).

Emma Spitzer Fress

Since reaching the final three on MasterChef, Emma has been in high demand, teaching cookery classes, making appearances at food festivals, running sell-out supper clubs and writing her cookbook “Fress”

I made a version of this recipe on MasterChef to achieve a place in the final line-up of three contestants. The guest judge happened to be the guru of fish, Nathan Outlaw, and the dish was very much given the thumbs-up. I served it with spiced meat-stuffed Turkish manti (like tiny ravioli) and some fancy garnishes, but it was the sauce that was the star of the show and overshadowed all the other elements on the plate. I have pared my recipe back to make cooking this special occasion dish much simpler and used meaty monkfish, which stands up well to the robust flavours in the sauce.

Emma Spitzer

You can find out more about Emma here on her website or here on Instagram

Ingredients For Moroccan Spiced Monkfish Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons ras el hanout
2 thick pieces of monkish fillet from Walter Purkis & Sons around 350g each
large fennel bulb, very thinly sliced – use a mandolin if you have one Remove any woody stalk or core and reserve fronds for garnish
I large leek, white part only, trimmed,cleaned and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons white wine
500ml vegetable stock
200ml double cream
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Method For Moroccan Spiced Monkfish Recipe

Quantities are to serve four people

Mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with 1 heaped teaspoon of the ras el hanout in a small bowl to make a loose paste. Spread over the monkfish fillets in a dish using a pastry brush, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas Mark 6.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large, deep frying pan over a high heat, and when it is smoking, add the monkfish and sear quickly until it is golden brown on all sides.Transfer the monkfish to a baking tray and roast for 10–12 minutes until it is cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes under some tented foil.

While the monkfish is roasting, throw into the same frying pan you used to sear the fish the fennel, leek, garlic, remaining ras el hanout and turmeric. Stir together for a couple of minutes before deglazing the pan with the white wine. Leave the wine to cook out for a minute, stirring constantly,then add the stock. Turn the heat down very slightly and leave the sauce to bubble away and reduce for 10 minutes or until its reduced by two-thirds. Add the cream and the mustard and keep stirring for a further 3 minutes. Season with the salt and black pepper to taste.

Divide the sauce between 4 shallow bowls or plates. Slice the monkish into generous rounds and place neatly on top of the sauce in the centre. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the reserved fennel fronds, with some fine green beans drizzled with oil and lemon juice and a bowl of buttered new potatoes on the side.