Have I mentioned before that I hate Sundays?
Since I’ve had so much time on my hands in the last week, I have had lots of opportunity to think about exactly what I want for dinner. I can create and recreate dishes in my head to my hearts content and, very occasionally, I get a good idea.
On Sunday I had some of this inspiration. I knew they had some good looking monkfish tails at Whole Foods so I thought of marinating one in lemon and pernod, crusting it with lemon thyme and roasting it with fennel.
So far so good, but since it was a Sunday I had to sprint to the market before it shut. I got there just in time, selected my monkfish and gleefully carried it over to vegetable section to find, to my horror, that there was no fennel.
I couldn’t believe it! Whole Foods had let me down! But I don’t give up that easily. Even on a Sunday at 6pm, surely somewhere would have fennel. So I started walking. I checked out the little shops on Gloucester road, then I walked to the little Iranian shops on Hammersmith Road, then I walked to the Sainsbury Local in Shepherds Bush. No fennel anywhere. My last port of call was the big Islamic shops on the Uxbridge road. They have EVERYTHING and they never seem to shut.
Well, everything except fennel. By this point it was 7:30pm and I’d walked about 6 miles. I decided this whole thing was ridiculous, gave up, bought some asparagus and headed home. Then Goon said he didn’t like asparagus any more.
We both had our monkfish as planned, with saffron flavoured roast potatoes.
The monkfish was marinated in a mixture of lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and pernod. Just before putting it in the oven, I stripped the leaves off some lemon thyme and lightly coated the tail with it, then roasted it on a bed of sliced lemon and star anise. The marinade certainly gave the fish a good flavour. The lemon dominated but there was still a subtle presence of the aniseed, which was exactly how I wanted it.
As an accompaniment, I had roast asparagus and Goon had buttered broad beans. I made a quick white wine reduction with a splash of cream as a last minute sauce.
I think this is the second time I’ve made saffron roast potatoes. They’re really growing on me. Whilst I still prefer goose-fat flavoured roast potatoes, they don’t suit every meal and this saffron version is a nice, interesting variant.
One day I might actually learn my lesson and shop for my Sunday dinner on Saturday when all the decent shops are open. Or, more likely, I will continue to swear and curse at the Sunday trading laws for ever, or at least until I get out of Britain.