Without wanting to toot my own horn, this is probably the best lunch I’ve ever made! Just as well, as I was asked to write a blog for the RTE Food website, under the theme “picnic” recently and was worried my usual picnic food wouldn’t be sophisticated enough. When I was younger my family spent every summer in West Cork and rain or shine we would be on the beach every day for a swim and of course a lunchtime picnic. Our picnic lunches usually involved Egg Salad sandwiches which we gobbled down hungrily after hours or running around the beach and jumping in and out of the sea. I have an obsession with egg salad sandwiches, and it’s probably because of the reminders of endless, happy days spent on the beach.
Alas, I felt providing the RTE Food website with a recipe for Egg Mayonnaise may be laughed at, so instead I made this recipe which still has the creamy element my dear egg mayonnaise had, and delicious capers and herbs that make a good egg salad, but with mixed fish instead of egg. My mum had just pulled a fresh brown bread out of the oven which I thought would go perfectly, so I pinched half a loaf and skipped out of the house on the way to my posh picnic. This was so delicious that I can see it becoming a weekly meal, chez moi. The monkfish was quite expensive, so if I’m making again I will probably substitute it for another robust white fish and maybe leave out the prawns for a more inexpensive, week-day version. Enjoy this little beaut, but if all else fails, an eggy sandwich is always a crowd pleaser! :)
Ingredients (Serves 2 hungry people):
1 fillet monkfish
1 filled trout
4 Irish prawns (don’t be fooled into getting tiger prawns, they’re horrible, hard and not soft and sweet like the Irish prawns)
Brown Bread sliced
3 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp oil (I used rapeseed)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon depending on size (taste as you go)
1 handful capers (you can chop any of the big ones, and leave the little ones whole)
2 stalks of dill torn into little bits and extra for garnishing
Salt and Pepper
1. Bake your fish in an oven 180C with a little oil, salt and pepper until cooked through (about 15 minutes). I put on the monkfish first for 5-7 minutes as it was a much thicker piece and takes longer to cook.
2. For the sauce mix together the creme fraiche, lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, capers, chopped dill and season with salt and pepper.
3. Flake or chop the fish into bite-size pieces and stir into the sauce.
4. Serve the fish mix on brown bread and lettuce with a squeeze of lemon juice on top and a garnish of capers and dill.