There’s plenty of fish in the markets in Barcelona. Each neighbourhood has a covered food market and also has several small fish shops in the streets around. The variety is immense and the quality is very good. Spanish people know their fish and the fishmongers are very good at looking after them. Every piece is meticulously cleaned and will be cut as requested. The skin and bones being presented with the filleted fish to make the stock.
Last night we had monkfish. We didn’t make our dinner plans in time to go to the market so we wandered out to the local fish shop where there were some spanking fresh little monkfish tails for sale.
There was some filo relaxing in the fridge, waiting to be used so we made ‘seafood pastillas’ which gave it a first class home. This is another simple recipe from Claudia Rodens Tamarind and Saffron book with our usual pantry substitutions. The original recipe used cod and prawns which was pre cooked before marinating but I’m not a fan of twice cooked fish so I marinated the fish raw and then cooked it in the filo. It was delicious – one of these recipes which make your taste buds light up.
There was a little marinade left over from marinating the fish which I whisked into a little mayo to make a sauce for on the side. This was as much for our chippy potatoes that we had with, as for with the fish, and the whole lot got scoffed!
This recipe makes enough for 3-4 people
about 600g monkfish
filo pastry sheets
approx 100g butter
the juice of 1 lemon
approx equal amount of olive oil as lemon juice
1 tsp ground cummin
1 tsp hot paprika
2 cloves garlic – peeled and chopped
a handful chopped parsley
a handful chopped coriander
Put the lemon juice, olive oil, ground cummin, hot paprika, chopped parsley and coriander into a bowl. Stir everything together and season with a little salt.
Cut the monkfish into cubes of about 2cms, not too big, and mix with the marinade. Leave in a cool place for thirty minutes to an hour to marinate.
To make the parcels, melt the butter in a small pan. Lay a sheet of filo out on the counter, long side towards you .Brush the top of the sheet with the melted butter then carefully turn over so the butter side is down Take a handful of the fish – approx one quarter- and shake off the excess marinade then place in the middle at the top end of the filo sheet and carefully fold the sheet over, fold both sides of the filo into the middle, then fold over again. Tuck in the remaining pastry. You should have nice little package with the fish inside. Put this on baking tray, and repeat three times.
Pre heat the oven 180c , give the pastries a final brushing with the melted butter and bake for about 25 minutes The pastry should be golden