Thursday, April 29, 2010

agate stone soup? I don't think so!

I apologise to all my avid readers that they did not have a new post to read with their morning coffee.
I was otherwise engaged preparing for a job interview, with my current husband asking me potential interview questions until almost midnight. Interview is Friday morning, so wish me luck! I need it!

I had been doing some research into foods which instill might confidence and make one assertive, energised and persuasive ...this has proven to be quite fruitless and the only thing I have found that might do this is the stone, Agate - a crystal which apparently helps to awaken your inherent talents, increases creativity and stimulates intellectual, as well as analytical abilities. It gives you the confidence to be the best you can be in achieving success by instilling courage. I think I need some, maybe 'agate stone soup' is worth a try!

Actually it sounds horrible, so I opted for one of my favourite fish this evening while browsing the counter at my favourite food shop on Exchequer Street. I found a lovely piece of monk fish, big enough for maybe three or four for thirteen euro. I loved wrapping this delicious present in prosciutto, it looks so good uncooked!
So I set about preparing a soul warming, interview improving, roast monk fish with fennel.

For the roast vegetables:
15 cherry tomatoes, skinned by pricking the skin with a knife and submerging them in boiling water. The skins will rub off between your thumb and forefinger
15 pitted black oily olives
2 fennel bulbs, hairy bits removed, halved and then each half quartered.
2 plump garlic cloves, finely sliced.
Garden herbs, a variety, oregano, thyme, basil

First, blanch the fennel eighths in salted, boiling water for about 10 minutes. Place in a large flat roasting dish with the skinned tomatoes. Toss a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil, the garlic slices, the olives and herbs in with the fennel and the tomatoes. You could add almost any vegetable here - I also added peeled baby potatoes which were left over from the boys tea earlier. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly milled black pepper.

Next, prepare the monk fish.

Whizz half of a large jar or a small jar of sun-blush tomatoes (these are half-dried and are a little more juicy that the fully sun-dried variety) with 2 large handfuls of basil and a little of the preserving oil from the tomatoes and a breath of balsamic vinegar.

Lay out 6 or 8 strips of Italian prosciutto on a flat board. Smear this prosciutto sheet with your tomato and basil pesto. Lay your fillet or tail of monk fish on top and wrap up in the prosciutto. The piece that I used this evening was very large so I laid it on the prosciutto-pesto, smeared more pesto on top of the fish and laid strips of prosciutto on the fish again, wrapping it up as tightly as I could.

Place the fish parcel on top of the vegetables and roast in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.
I have poured a good glass of white wine over this on one occasion before, but to be honest I think it doesn't do a lot, the vegetables roast in the little oil and their own juices and it is very tasty.

Eat, enjoy and go to bed early, well nurtured and ready to take on the world.....who needs agate crystals??

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