Prawn & Monkfish Coconut Bisque

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Published on: August 1, 2012
 

Although this course was not in my earlier dinner party plans, I had intended to do a Langoustine coconut bisque with pan fried Monkfish.  Despite being promised a delivery of langoustine on Saturday morning, it failed to materialise and I was left searching for a suitable alternative.  I eventually remembered that Monkfish was used as a substitute for scampi (until it became too expensive).  But in order to make a proper bisque I felt I needed a crustacean and got some frozen prawns with the shell still on – it was the best I could do at short notice!

A traditional bisque is made with crustaceans, white wine and cream (plus a few extras).  But my lactose free requirement meant I could have no cream.  As soon as I had thought about coconut milk, I thought of my green Thai curry.  A Thai/asian bisque would be unique, it’s real fusion food – a french bisque mixed with asian flavours.  Coconut, lemongrass, lime and chilli with some garlic and coriander thrown in.  I didn’t go as far as adding in ginger as I felt it might overpower the soup.

Once I had decided on the ingredients I had to work out a way to cook it.  I’d never done a bisque before but I knew roughly how they were supposed to be made.  My dish was complicated slightly by the monkfish as I already had the prawns.  In the end I just cooked them together (after cooking the prawn shells of course). I was also on the verge of adding some fish stock but realised it probably wasn’t going to be gluten-free so just made do with more wine and coconut milk.

The dish worked well, although I would rather have used langoustine the prawn/monkfish combination worked.  The only thing I could have done better was the picture of the finished bisque but I was pressed for time and in a bit of a rush at this point.  I still think the asian bisque was an inspired choice – even if I do say so myself!

 

Ingredients (serves 4):

300g Monkfish tail

300g Tiger Prawns (shell on)

400ml Coconut Milk

250ml Dry white wine

2 Shallots

2 Lemongrass stalks

1 Red chilli (de-seeded)

1 Clove garlic

Small bunch of coriander

Vegetable oil

Salt & Pepper

 

Method:

1.  Remove the shells from the prawns and chop the shallots.  Get a saute pan and fry the shells with the shallots in 2 tablespoons of oil.

2.  Next chop the garlic, chilli and lemongrass (keeping the thick ends for now) and add to the pan, fry for a few minutes at a medium heat.

3.  Debone the monkfish and cut into chunks.  Now add it to the pan.

4.  After another minute or two add in the remaining prawns, fry for a further minute or two until the prawns start to colour

5.  Now add the white wine and remove the meat.  Allow the wine to reduce slightly then strain it into a saucepan.  Leave the saucepan on a low heat.

6.  Take the meat, garlic, chilli, lemongrass and shells (if you confident your blender can puree them) and blitz it in a blender until all is smooth.

7.  Bash the lemongrass ends using a rolling-pin and add to the white wine reduction.  Increase the heat to medium.

8.  Add the coconut milk and stir well to combine.  Chop the coriander and add that in as well.

9.  Return the pureed mix back to the soup and stir.  Heat until the soup is warmed through.

10.  Finally remove the lemongrass ends and blitz the entire soup one last time (in batches if required).

11.  Ladel into bowls, place a leaf of coriander on top and serve.

 

Tips:

I think a little bit more coconut milk would help.  Alternatively coconut cream would make for a creamy and possibly slightly smoother soup.

600-800g of langoustine could replace both the monkfish and prawns.



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