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Posts Tagged ‘abel & cole’

Roasted monkfish with thyme sprigs

We’ve been quite busy recently. Erika and I both have the week off work and have been out of the flat more than we have been in so there’s not been much to write about. This afternoon we found ourselves walking past a fishmonger and asked for some inspiration for something to go alongside some bits from the veg box – Jersey Royals, carrots and cabbage.

After a quick chat with the knowledgeable chap in the fishmonger we left with a wonderfully fresh piece of monkfish and a recipe:

Roasted Monkfish with Lemon and Thyme
Serves 2
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus 1 hour marinating)
Cooking time: 15 minutes

2x 130g monkfish fillets
2tbsp olive oil
juice and zest of half a lemon
10 sprigs of thyme
salt & pepper

To make the marinade, place the monkfish in a dish and add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice and the thyme. Season, mix well and leave in the fridge for up to an hour. In good time, preheat the oven to 200c.

Heat a dry frying pan over a high heat and add the fish, cooking for a couple of minutes each side until nicely browned. Add the leftover sprigs of thyme along with any remaining marinade and then place in the oven (still in the frying pan) for 6 or 7 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

We served the monkfish with Jersey Royals, carrots and cabbage – all simply boiled so we could really experience the flavours – from the veg box that Able & Cole delivered last Friday. I was a bit skeptical about the vegetables staying fresh after nearly a week; we’ve bought things from farmers’ markets before and they’ve not lasted the weekend, let alone seven days. Surprisingly, most of it had lasted well with just a few floppy carrots and one or two potatoes that were starting to go bad. Once cooked, the potatoes and vegetables tasted wonderful. The Jersey Royals were much better than those we’ve recently bought from supermarkets and the carrots and cabbage were full of flavour, again far superior to anything from the supermarket.

The fish itself was gorgeous. The outside of the fish had a delicate flavour of thyme whilst the inside was juicy and succulent. Monkfish is a firm, meaty fish and it handled the marinade well, despite having quite a mild flavour it was still able to hold its own against the flavours of lemon and thyme – altogether a delicious combination. Neither Erika nor I have had monkfish before but we’ll certainly be having it again (although perhaps not too often as it carried a hefty £38.99/kg pricetag!). Lesson learnt: speak to your fishmonger!

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Chicken, broad bean and pea risotto

Upon leaving the flat this morning, Rob was greeted by something we’d been looking forward to for the last week: an organic fruit and veg box sent to us to sample by Abel & Cole. We rushed to open it and were delighted to find apples, fairtrade bananas, broad beans, carrots, a cucumber, a green cabbage, a large green lettuce, Jersey Royals, a small melon and some spring onions. This box would usually set you back £15.95 with a 99p delivery charge – at a guess, I’d say you could match this at the supermarket (though most things wouldn’t be organic) for about £10. Obviously, the former will win in the ethics stake, but how about taste? Everything looked and smelt wonderful and fresh and I instantly started to think about what we could cook, but we had to get to work so each grabbed an apple to enjoy during the day.

Making a perfect first impression, the apples were delicious – sweet, juicy and crunchy, exactly how an apple should be (but often isn’t!).

The thing I really like about the whole idea of these veg box deliveries, is that it’s not unlikely that you’ll end up with something you haven’t cooked before. For us today this turned out to be broad beans, so I decided they would be the first thing we used!

I found a recipe for broad bean risotto on the very apt Veg Box Recipes. I followed the instructions for the broad beans down to removing the skin; unfortunately the 400g or so of broad beans we’d received only produced 100g of actual beans (and even less once the skins were removed). This was definitely disappointing as I would have liked the beans to be the focus of the risotto and was instead forced to pad it out with peas. Along with the broad beans and peas we added some chicken breast that had been diced, well-seasoned and fried.

Rob said the risotto was the best we’d ever made and the broad beans were a delicious addition. I couldn’t resist picking at them a little once I’d removed the skins – they tasted so fresh and would have worked just as well as the highlight of a simple salad as they did in the risotto.

First impressions of our fruit and veg box have been very good. Stay tuned over the next week or so to see how the rest fares!

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