Monkfish with Cucumber and Tomato Hollandaise

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Simply Delicious: Book 1

Simply Delicious

By Darina Allen

Published 1989

  • About


  • 675 g/ lbs monkfish tail cut into 1 cm/½ inch collops

Poaching Liquid

  • 2.3 L/4 pints/10 cups water
  • 14 g/1 tablesp./4 American teasp. salt

Cucumber and Tomato Hollandaise

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 125 g/4 ozs/1 stick butter cut into dice
  • 1 dessertsp. cold water
  • 1 teasp. lemon juice approx.
  • of a cucumber, peeled and cut into tiny dice
  • 7 g/¼ oz butter
  • 2 very ripe firm tomatoes to yield 2 tablesp. tomato concassé approx.
  • salt, freshly-ground pepper and sugar
  • 1 teasp. finely-chopped fennel


  • sprigs of fresh fennel


First make the sauce. Put the egg yolks in a heavy stainless steel saucepan on a very low heat, or in a bowl over hot water. Add water and whisk thoroughly. Add the butter bit by bit, whisking all the time. As soon as one piece melts, add the next piece. The mixture will gradually thicken, but if it shows signs of becoming too thick or slightly ‘scrambling’, remove from the heat immediately and add a little cold water if necessary. Do not leave the pan or stop whisking until the sauce is made. Finally add the lemon juice to taste. If the sauce is slow to thicken it may be because you are excessively cautious and the heat is too low. Increase the heat slightly and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens to coating consistency. Pour into a bowl and keep warm.

Melt 7 g/¼ oz of butter and toss the tiny dice of cucumber in it for 1–2 minutes. Add to the Hollandaise Sauce.

Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, count to ten, pour off the water and peel. Cut in half and remove the seeds with a teaspoon or melon bailer, cut the flesh into the same size dice as the cucumber. Sprinkle with salt, freshly-ground pepper and sugar and keep aside.

Just before serving, bring the 2.3 L/4 pints/10 cups of water to the boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the monkfish collops, bring back to the boil and simmer for 4–5 minutes or until the pieces are no longer opaque, but completely white and tender. Drain the monkfish thoroughly.

To Serve

Put into a serving dish or arrange overlapping slices on individual plates. Drain the tomato concassé and add to the sauce with the finely-chopped fennel. Taste. Add a little hot water if the sauce is too thick. Spoon carefully over the fish. Garnish with sprigs of fennel and serve immediately.