This is based on a recipe for monkfish that comes from Devon according to Favourite Seafood Recipes from Britain’s Coastal Waters, one of the pamphlets in the “Favourite” series published by J. Salmon Ltd. I do not particularly like monkfish so I changed the recipe to use cod. Another one of those lost dishes that wants revival.
-2 bottles (24 oz) hard cider
-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
-about 1 ½ cups chopped onion
-about 2 cups mushrooms, quartered unless small
-2 Tablespoons flour
-½ - ¾ teaspoon dried marjoram (or a heaped teaspoon fresh if you can get it)
-2 lb cod
-1 heaped Tablespoon minced parsley
-salt and pepper
-2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 325°
- Boil the cider hard to reduce it until you have about 2 cups.
- Melt the butter over medium low heat and cook the onions until they begin to soften.
- Increase the heat to medium, add the mushrooms and cook until the onions clear and the mushrooms soften too.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir fry the mixture for about a minute.
- Stir in the warm cider, add the marjoram and a generous grind of pepper, bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the parsley, slide the cod under the liquid, bring the dish to a boil, then pop it in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cod flakes with a little pressure.
- Check for salt, stir in the cream and serve.
- Pick a dish just big enough so that the liquid barely covers the fish. Its depth does not matter.
- You want rice, mashed potatoes or crusty bread to soak up the sauce. A green vegetable is nice; I like curried cauliflower with this too.
- You can divide the fish into four servings before cooking if you like, or if it makes a better fit for your dish, but that is not necessary.
- To make this dish with the monkfish, cut the fish into big chunks and add them to the sauce at step 5 with the cider, then bake the entire dish for half an hour.
- If you use, say, halibut, simmer the sauce for ten minutes at step five and bake for about 20 minutes at step 6.
- If you have invited people to dinner, make the dish ahead through step 5, then slip in the fish and bake it when you are ready.