Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorous in it makes brains. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat. Perhaps a couple of whales would be enough.
– Mark Twain
Mark Twain’s witty quotes always make me chuckle. This one here holds no relation to the topics for today other than the fact that it is fishy.
I used to work for an extremely well known retail pharmacy company in England. One of the side effects of working there is that sometimes people think you have as much knowledge as god might have, so you can imagine how this brings small problems once in a while.
One day a man came in and asked me a question. I didn’t understand so I asked him to repeat. After asking him to repeat a few times I was beginning to feel embarrassed. I could understand nearly all of his words but not the meaning of them all put together. It was slightly frightening, as if something was wrong with me. So finally I said: I’m very sorry Sir, but I really don’t understand what it is you are asking me.
Oh, don’t you? He looked genuinely surprised. I’m asking you about advanced methods to preserve and freeze fish when fishing.
It wasn’t medicine nor symptom related so I felt relieved that I didn’t understand him. Unfortunately for him, I think he was quite disappointed that I wasn’t able to handle his request.
The terrine I made this Terrine de lotte grillée aux tomates confites from my recipe book Terrines by Rudolphe Paquin. This recipe can be translated into grilled monkfish terrine with tomato confit. It’s the first time I’ve made a fish terrine and I’ll definitely be making more.
Monkfish Terrine with Dried Tomatoes and Fresh Basil Recipe
200ml chicken broth
200g dried tomatoes in oil
8 sheets of gelatin
1 bunch fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Take the dried tomatoes out of the oil and dry them on some absorbent paper. Wash the basil.
Slice the monkfish into fillet slices of about 2-3cm wide. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Cook the monkfish on both sides for a few minutes until they are done. Add some salt and black pepper.
Prepare the chicken broth. Let it cool.
Line the terrine dish with cooking paper.
Place a layer of dried tomatoes on the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of cooked monkfish on top. Cover with a layer of basil leaves. Repeat until you finish the ingredients. I ended up with 3 layers.
Dissolve the gelatin in a small quantity of water then add it to the chicken broth. Pour it all over the terrine.
Let it set in the fridge for 24 hours. It can be stored in the fridge for about one week.
- I used my homegrown basil.
- I bought the dried tomatoes but someday I’ll make my own.
- I made my own chicken broth by boiling some chicken with some salt and black pepper. I would imagine dissolving a chicken stock cube in boiling water would work too.
- I used black pepper though white pepper would go really well with it too.
- The ingredients from the photographed book is enough to fill a 1.2 litre terrine dish. Mine is only 0.8 litres. I bought 1kg of fish but the fishmonger eliminated the spine and some other bits for me so at the end there is really less than 1kg fish in my recipe.
- With regards to lining the terrine dish, I used a parchment paper that I found in my drawers. The point of lining the dish is to later be able to take out the terrine. Obviously I used the wrong type of paper because when I tried to take out the fish terrine by pushing out the paper, the paper was torn and came out cleanly, while the fish terrine stayed inside my terrine dish. Yes, it was quite funny. That’s why I didn’t manage to make clean slices for the photos. Also, I think next time I won’t even bother with lining the dish with cooking paper. The flavour itself pardoned the shape of the slices more than enough.