Saturday, 6 February 2010

Monkfish, Ciabatta and Pancetta, on Rosemary Skewers

Oh yum, oh yum!! It is a bit pricey (though you do make the monkfish go a long way), but see the notes at the end for ideas on how to do a lower-cost version.

Makes: 2 servings
Takes: 10 minutes + 20 minutes cooking time


about 8 oz (225g) trimmed monkfish tail
1 ciabatta roll
a few sprigs of rosemary (about 6 or 7, each 6 inches or so in length)
1/2 tsp garlic paste or 1/2 clove garlic
extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
6 or 7 rashers of pancetta
balsamic vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 220oC/200oC fan/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Cut the monkfish into about 12 pieces of roughly equal size. Remove the ciabatta crust and tear the bread into the same number of pieces - they should be roughly the same size as the fish.
  3. Keep the top inch or so of each rosemary stalk intact, and remove the leaves from the rest by running finger and thumb down the length of the stalk.
  4. Put the rosemary leaves and garlic into a pestle and mortar and bash them together then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Put the fish and bread into a bowl, add the rosemary oil and toss together.
  6. Cut the bottom of the first rosemary stalk at an angle to create a sharp point. Thread on a piece of monkfish followed by a piece of ciabatta and repeat. Each stalk should hold two pieces each of fish and bread.
  7. Do the same with the other stalks until all the monkfish and ciabatta has been used up.
  8. Wrap a piece of pancetta loosely around each skewer, tucking it between the pieces of monkfish and ciabatta. Place on a roasting tray then season with black pepper and sprinkle over any remaining oil from the bowl.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes, till the bread is crisp and golden and the fish cooked through.
  10. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar, a little extra olive oil and any juices from the tray to serve.
Lovely as they are for a starter, or with a salad for a light meal, or with chips or potato wedges as a main course.

For a cheaper version, use any meaty white fish instead of the monkfish, and smoked streaky bacon instead of the pancetta.