Spiced monkfish with lentil Dhal and duck, pancetta and flageolet beans gremolata

This week’s recipes are two great main courses offering something a little different. We are all told how good lentils and beans are for us and both have star roles in these dishes which make use of fresh and tinned ingredients.

I am a big believer in having great store cupboard ingredients to rustle something up with: beans, along with coconut milk and tinned tomatoes, are just a few of the things which you will always find in my cupboard.

I hope you enjoy this week’s recipes and cook them for years to come.

Spiced Monkfish with Lentil Dhal serves two as a main course)


2 × 200g monkfish tail

1 teasp garam masala

sea salt

fresh black pepper

For the lentil dhal:

2 tablesp vegetable oil

1 teasp cumin seeds

1 teasp saffron

1 pinch ground turmeric

1 onion, fine chop

2 garlic cloves, fine chop

3 red chillis, deseeded and chopped

2 teasp tomato puree

400g green lentils, rinsed and drained

400g spinach, chopped

15g coriander, destalked and chopped

200g Greek yoghurt

Start by dusting off the monkfish in the garam masala and seasoning with salt and pepper. When you are ready to serve, you can quickly pan fry the fish on a medium heat with a drizzle of oil for eight minutes each side.

For the dhal, place a pot on a medium heat and add in the oil. Once warm, add in the cumin seeds, saffron and any leftover garam masala from the fish, the turmeric, onion, garlic cloves and chilli and cook until the ingredients are soft. Your kitchen will smell like a spice souk – amazing.

Add in the tomato puree and lentils and cook for a further five minutes. Add in the spinach and coriander and keep on a low heat. Start getting the fish cooked.

Once your fish is cooked, stir the yoghurt into the lentil dhal and serve on the plate with the monkfish on top.

Duck, Pancetta and Flagelot beans gremolata (serves four as a starter / two as main course)


4 duck legs

400g onions, sliced

5 garlic cloves, sliced

140g streaky bacon or pancetta, chopped

400g tin Flagelot beans

400g tin tomatoes

300ml white wine

500ml chicken stock

olive oil

sea salt

cracked black pepper

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs thyme

1 sprig rosemary

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1/2 lemon, zest only

25g flat leaf parsley, destalked and chopped

Start by placing a heavy bottomed pot on a medium heat and adding in a splash of olive oil. Add in the chopped bacon/pancetta and cook until browned. Remove from the pot and leave to the side.

In the same pot, add in the onions and four of the cloves of garlic and cook until soft and they begin to colour. Once cooked, move to the side of the pan to make way for the duck.

Season the duck leg with the salt and pepper, add to the pot skin side down and brown. Add in the bacon, tinned tomatoes, white wine and stock. Tie the herbs together with a bit of string and add to the mix. Add the carrots and simmer for five minutes.

Make a lid for the pot using greaseproof paper and place on top of the ingredients in the pot, it is OK if this touches it. Place a lid on top, reduce the heat and leave on the hob for two hours. Remove from heat.

Rinse the beans from the tin in a sieve, add to the zested lemon, the chopped parsley and remaining garlic clove. Chop all the ingredients together and place in frying pan and heat through. When ready to serve, place the duck leg on the plate with a good spoonful of the gremolata on the side.

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