Recipe: Monkfish with a Lemon Pepper Crust and a Warm Lemon Anchovy Vinaigrette

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  • lb (700 g) monkfish, weighed off the bone and trimmed
  • grated zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 2 level tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • For the lemon anchovy vinaigrette:
  • grated zest 1 large lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
  • 3 fl oz (75 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped


  • Wipe the monkfish with damp kitchen paper and cut it into rounds ¾ inch (2 cm) thick, then lay it in a dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice and leave it for 10 minutes, or longer if that suits you better.
  • Meanwhile, crush the peppercorns fairly coarsely with a pestle and mortar and add the flour, salt and lemon zest to them. Mix well and spread the mixture out on to a plate. Now dry the pieces of fish well with kitchen paper and coat them with the lemon pepper mixture.
  • Then, in a good solid frying pan, heat the oil until it's very hot and fry the fish in 2 batches, giving them 2-3 minutes on each side. Keep the first batch warm.
  • Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by combining the oil, lemon zest and juice – preferably in a screw-top jar so you can give it a good shake – and add the chopped anchovies.
  • When the second batch of fish is ready, transfer it to join the rest, then add the shallot to the pan, adding a little more oil if necessary, and fry briefly for about 30 seconds. Then pour in the dressing, let it bubble and reduce down slightly, whisking briefly with a balloon whisk.
  • Serve the fish on warm plates with the sauce poured over and, if you like, lemon slices as a garnish.


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