Sometimes it’s the simple things that can bring the most joy. Sitting on a cliff top staring out to sea. Walking through a forest on a crisp winter’s morning. Climbing into your own bed after a few days away. You know exactly what I mean…

It’s often the case with food too. When you have good quality ingredients you really don’t need to do much to make them shine. You can leave them to do all the hard work on the flavour front. Complexity only adds to your workload, not to what ends up on the plate. Steak Frites will always be one of my favourite meals for that very reason. Good beef + good chips = guaranteed good times.

This Monkfish with Parma Ham recipe is also certain to bring a smile to the face of anyone who eats it. Monkfish has a meaty texture and a delicate, almost sweet flavour. I’ve seen some people refer to it as “poor man’s lobster” and I can see where they’re coming from. Though I’m not sure that the price comparison quite holds true…

Wrapping it in salty Parma Ham may seem a bit obvious but there’s a reason you often see it on restaurant menus. It just works. The ham adds flavour and also keeps the fish moist whilst it roasts in the oven. A bit like pastry on a pie, it’s a protective casing that just happens to be delicious.

Here I’ve added in a bit more flavour in the form of Romesco. This is a punchy and very savoury sauce that originates from Catalonia. Made from roasted peppers, tomatoes and toasted almonds it is a perfect partner for oven-baked fish like this. I make it in batches and keep individual portions in the freezer for times when I need flavour in a hurry. Such as here, when you can get dinner from fridge to table in as little as 20 minutes.


Monkfish with Parma Ham

Monkfish has a delicate, almost sweet flavour which sits beautifully alongside the richness of the romesco sauce and saltiness from the parma ham.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Fish
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 Monkfish Fillets 150g each
  • 100 g Romesco Sauce see notes
  • 4 slices Parma Ham

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C
  • Trim the monkfish fillets to remove any bones or remaining skin. Rub each fillet with 1 tbsp of the Romesco Sauce, rubbing it into the flesh where possible. Wrap each fillet in 2 slices of Parma ham, ensuring that the slices overlap leaving no gaps.
  • Transfer the wrapped monkfish fillets to a baking sheet, then roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  • Meanwhile heat the remaining Romesco sauce over a low heat until just below a simmer.
  • Thickly slice each monkfish fillet and serve on top of the romesco sauce, along with the vegetables of your choice.

Notes

Romesco Sauce is made with roasted red peppers and toasted nuts, along with tomatoes and a few spices. It goes really well with roasted and fried fish – especially the meatier varieties like Cod and Monkfish. You can buy it pre-made in some stores or easily make your own at home.
I make mine using readily available store cupboard ingredients. This method makes around 8 servings, but it can be kept in the freezer for a few months without any issues (and therefore called upon when needed). You can get that recipe here: Store-cupboard Romesco Sauce

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