Chef’s Special: Rocks Restaurant, Seiners, Perranporth.

Monkfish and prosciutto

Brian Johnson

Monkfish wrapped in prosciutto with pesto roasted fennel, sweet potato mash and a clam and champagne butter sauce (Serves 4)

Recipe by Brian Johnston, Rocks Restaurant, Seiners, Perranporth

“Buy local,” is Brian Johnston’s watch word, “It is true that you might have to pay a little bit more for your produce, but it is not only important to support your local fishmonger and butcher, it also ensures that you will get a far better quality that from a supermarket.” Brian doesn’t dispute that there are also some excellent European products available, “for example a good chorizo sausage shouldn’t be ignored”, and his recipes make the most of the best foods and flavours to be had.

“Monkfish is a delicate and lovely meaty fish and, with the added bonus of being caught in Cornish waters, is one of my favourite fishes both to cook and to eat,” says Brian. “The local clams,” he tells me, “might be best described as a posh mussel.” I am curious to know why sweet potatoes should be baked first if they are to be made into mash. “Baking holds the flavour where boiling looses it,” he elucidates.

As Head Chef of a relatively new restaurant, Brian is very sincere about the quality of food he presents to his diners. Local produce and seasonality are clearly important; the menu changes and evolves in response to this and feedback from the clientele. “I believe in going out and talking to my customers and I am interested in what they have to say.” Diners say they have found a little gem in this Perranporth restaurant which offers exceptional fine dining in at a very reasonable price.

Sweet Potato Mash

2 sweet potatoes

1 baking potato

1 lemon

25g butter

  • Wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil and roast in oven for 1 hour or until the flesh is soft
  • Peel baking potato, chop and cook in boiling salted water until ready, dry and mash
  • Once slightly cooled squeeze flesh from the skin and add to potato. Add butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Season to taste

Pesto

25g basil

½ clove of garlic, finely chopped

Small handful of pine kernels

Small handful of finely grated parmesan

Extra virgin olive oil

  • Put basil, pine nuts, parmesan and garlic into a food processer and blitz adding enough olive oil to bring it to a sauce consistency
  • Add a squeeze of lemon and season to taste

Monkfish

750g monkfish tail (with sinew removed)

4 Slice of prosciutto

Extra virgin olive oil

  • Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F
  • Cut the monkfish into four equal portions and wrap each in a slice of prosciutto
  • Roast in a little olive oil for approx 12 minutes

Fennel

I bulb fennel

  • Trim the fennel
  • Cut length ways into eight equal segments
  • Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 minutes
  • Drizzle with Pesto and roast for 5 minutes

Sauce

12 fresh clams

100ml of champagne (or good quality dry white wine)

½ banana shallot, finely chopped

½ garlic clove, finely chopped

100ml double cream

25g butter

  • Fry garlic and shallots slowly in a tsp of olive oil until transparent
  • Add champagne and clams put lid on pan and steam for four minutes or until the clams are completely open
  • Finish with double cream and butter
  • Season to taste

To serve

  • One spoonful of sweet potato on the plate
  • Slice each piece of monkfish into three and place around the sweet potato
  • Place fennel on  the monkfish
  • Place three clams around the plate and drizzle sauce
  • Finish with remaining pesto

LOCATION: Rocks Restaurant, SEINERS, Beachfront, Perranporth TR6 0DP

Another Monkfish recipe idea Juniper Baked Cornish Monkfish from Wing of St.Mawes, The Cornish Fishmonger.

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