You need to upgrade your Flash player to view this site correctly.
Download Flash Player

Russell's Recipes

Skip Navigation

Previous Posts


RUSSELL'S RECIPES have been tested over the years in a notably inefficient kitchen. They have proven their reliability and can withstand late-arriving guests, mismatched cutlery, and requests for Coca-cola, beer, or iced tea.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


As any good cook knows, the best way to decide what to put on the table is to start at the source. So when Becky saw this beautiful, delicate monkfish in the Beaune fish shop, the ideas flourished. And when the soft and spiced curry aromas in Le Serbet kitchen began wafting toward the offices upstairs, we knew we were in for a special and innovative new dish. Perfect for an early spring birthday celebration! Here's her recipe...
Fish and spice and everything nice.


Monkfish, without the bone, cut into neat pieces (2 to 3 pieces per guest)
Shelled, cooked shrimp (about 2 per guest)
Garam masala, ground ginger, ground cumin, a light curry powder, fine salt
Butter/olive oil: a tablespoon of each (use more if necessary)
A finely chopped onion
2 chopped carrots
2 chopped celery stalks with their leaves
2 finely sliced garlic cloves
2 cups high quality canned tomatoes, drained and chopped
Rind from 2 lemons cut into thin little strips
2 cups of red wine
2 cups of chicken stock

This is best cooked the day before. Therefore, it is very important not to overcook the monkfish because it will be gently reheated the next day. It is also important to ask the fishmonger to remove the almost invisible and translucent skin that covers the monkfish. Otherwise the morsels will curl up during cooking and have a very unpleasant texture.

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C (325°F).

Mix the spices and salt together (a sufficient quantity to dust the monkfish). Put the monkfish on a plate and season all sides of the morsels with the spice/salt mixture. (I do a gentle rub so that the spices adhere to the fish).

In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil and butter and when there is a slight sizzle (but no browning) put in the monkfish and brown on both sides. (I use tongs and turn the fish once). Do not overcook.

Remove the fish and put on a plate. Add more butter/oil if necessary and cook the onion, carrot, celery, garlic for about ten minutes until the vegetables soften. Do not brown them. Then add the lemon rind slivers, the tomatoes, the wine, and the stock. Mix well and bring to a gentle boil.

Add the monkfish and shrimp, and put in the pre-heated oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. (I cover the cooking pot, and use a Le Creuset type utensil).

Take out of the oven, remove the monkfish and shrimp using tongs, and leave on a plate while bringing the sauce to a boil in order to reduce the liquid volume by half.

Purée the sauce, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add more spices to your taste. Let cool, return the monkfish and shrimp to the pot, and refrigerate until ready to reheat and serve.

Reheat very gently – monkfish can go rubbery very quickly – and serve with any of the following:
Little boiled potatoes
A dark green leafy vegetable either cooked or raw

Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro.

Wine pairing: nothing beats a German riesling, preferably off-dry.

Classy bottle, finesse in the glass.