Here in Ireland, we really struggle with ‘original Irish recipes’. Any discussion on traditional cuisine usually ends up in a culinary cul-de-sac with everybody agreeing that bacon and cabbage is the high point while boxti and coddle bring up the rear. A ‘pint of plain’ being the tipple of choice to accompany most everything. It’s not very inspiring. The principal reason for the lack of traditional culinary diversity is tied to our history. We were, for a long time, a peasant nation, doffing our caps to our masters while eating potatoes to survive. We barely subsisted on small holdings while absentee landlords from across the pond extracted what wealth the country had.
That was then and this is now. We do have some incredible, natural assets and in more recent times, we have been able to use our innate Irish creativity to bring out the very best of our available food resources. We now have a truly rich and vibrant food culture here on the Emerald Isle.
While I was thinking about this state of affairs, a friend, who does some work with Flahavan’s, asked me if I as interested in preparing a breakfast recipe using their famous porridge oats. I really couldn’t think of anything to top the breakfast we have been eating for over 20 years but, the thought of using Irish oats stuck and I eventually decided to prepare Oat Crusted Monkfish Medallions and serve them on a bed of minted peas. Nothing could be more Irish. Nothing could be more delicious.
Ingredients to serve three
- Half a kilo of monkfish
- Flour for dusting
- An egg for dipping
- Porridge oats for coating
- 400 grammes of frozen peas (or fresh if the time of year is right)
- A few mint leaves
- Salt and pepper to season
- Oil and a little butter
Side note on ingredients: There aren’t a lot of them. But, over the centuries, we Irish have got used to not having a lot. If you are serving more people, do the maths.
Side note on brand slogans: The BirdsEye one of “Field Fresh Garden Peas” had me a little confused. Surely they should be “Garden Fresh” or “Field Peas”?
First, trim the fish of any membrane and yucky bits. Then slice into nice sized medallions.
Make a production line of seasoned flour, egg (beaten) and oats. This will make life simple, like the dish.
Dip the medallions, one at a time in the flour.
Dip them next in the egg.
The egg will adhere to the oats when you dip in the last stage of production.
Assemble on a plate before frying, in a mixture of cooking oil and butter, over a medium heat. We just want those oats to go golden.
Be careful to get the temperature just right. You do not want to burn the oats. Get them golden and crispy.
Steam the peas for a few minutes. Chop the mint leaves and add to the peas.
Mash the peas roughly. Or roughly mash the peas, adding a knob of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Drain the fish on kitchen paper and serve on a bed of minted peas.
I served it with a glass of hock. Why? Because I had a glass of hock handy and the green stem went well with the garden fresh field peas. The delicate monkfish was delicious in the crispy outer of porridge oats. The minted peas added a lovely vibrant note to the dish. Move over coddle. Take a back seat boxti, there’s a new Irish culinary tradition in the making and this one tastes great!