Feeling a bit under the weather lately – our local weather forecast was pretty much right on with predicting a last minute white Christmas or in other words: it’s been cold, cold, cold – I spent Friday night all cuddled up on the sofa watching TV instead of our regular Friday night movie surprise at our sneak preview get-together.
My latest DVD additions I’d seen already, including one of my birthday gifts: Nip/Tuck, second season – which to me, is the best TV series ever been shown. It just knocks you of your feet, also it’s not for the faint-hearted or easily offended.
Anyway, I ended up zapping through the channels and settled for – who would have guessed – a late night cooking show. Actually, it was more like a cook off, than a typical cooking show: Kochen bei Kerner. One of the few formats, for whatever reason, I was never particularly interested in in the past. I suspect it must have had to do with the everyone’s darling host of the show (fulfilling the “perfect son in law” profile to the dot) or with some of the cooks on the show, that aren’t exactly my type either. From a young, contemporary, unconventional chef to a two Michelin star, GM awarded culinary master: Tim Mälzer, Ralf Zacherl, Rainer Sass, Sarah Wiener and Johann Lafer.
What in fact kept me wide awake after 11pm and continuing to watch the show was the omni present teasing, taunting and to certain degree viciousness among the cooks. Simply hilarious, watching all those egomaniacs assuming that their contribution to the menu was the most critical one…and on top being super defensive about every move they made. Somewhat confusing, because that’s really what the concept of the show is about: have your fellow cooks provide honest feedback. On the other hand it so well supported the entertaining character of the event.
Some of the highlights included Ralf Zacherl in the final stages of preparing his dish (fried scallops on oranges with a red beet sauce) waiting on the other cooks feedback, when Tim Mälzer backed off explaining his special and hearty *cough* relationship with him to the viewer and refusing to even taste the tiniest bit of what Ralf had cooked. Followed by a host in denial (couldn’t believe Tim wasn’t going to even try; etiquette/faux paux?) and a dead silent audience. We on the other end were rolling on the floor, entertainment at its best, thanks to a great, award worthy camera man capturing the cooks faces with perfect timing. Unreal.
Turning the camera to the audience to display the nauseated face of a women who was given a bite to try of the fried scallops. Noticing she was on TV, what options did she really have? With a hint of sarcasm, Kerner offered her a shot of Schnaps against possible sickness.
At the end of the show, the host asked the entire audience to come forward and try the different courses straight from the stove. Being surrounded by the studio audience, an apparently starving woman positioned her body right next to him, presumably thinking the show was already over, further pushing herself in front of him – while rubbing against Kerner – and in the course of action excusing herself with that very specific tone of YOU-MIND? (read: get the hell outta my way, I’m HUNGRY), reaching for a fork that was a little out of her reach. She would have died seeing herself on TV…
The monkfish in brick pastry (much like Phyllo) with the spinach and goat cheese looked so good, we had to try ourselves. We skipped the couscous, but instead arranged it on wild rocket. Extremely yummy.
PS: In case you wondered why we didn’t show one cut in half – we tried…making a clean cut is anything but easy, virtually impossible :)
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper to a bowl and marinate the monkfish in the mixture for a few minutes.
Defrost spinach, chop finely and squeeze dry. Sweat finely diced shallot in olive oil, add the spinach and steam for about 2-3 minutes at medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and a bit of fresh nutmeg, then set aside. Once cooled off, add the goat cheese and blend roughly.
Depending on the thickness of the brick pastry you may want to use two layers (and hence need 8 sheets in total). Lightly coat pastry sheets with melted butter (just the inside), arrange a small base in the center fo the pastry sheet(s) with the spinach mix and place a fillet of the monkfish on top. Lift the ends of the pastry and form a pouch, tieing it up with a cooking thread.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes at 210°C (410°F) in a preheated oven.
Monkfish on Wild Rocket & Pomegranate Seeds
Recipe source: Kochen mit Kerner, Tim Mälzer (adapted)
Required time: prep.: 20 min., baking time: 12-15 min.
Ingredients (yield: 4 pieces):
4x50g Monkfish fillets
2-3 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
season with salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar
200g frozen spinach
season with nutmeg
50-80g young goatcheese (depending on the cheese and your preference)
4 sheets of brick pastry (or Phyllo pastry)
a few tbsp melted butter