Chaucer’s re-write of Cumbria Tales and Monkfish Tails

What an inspired decision of my darling sister Rosemary and my pal, brother-in-law Mike, to relocate to Cumbria. Tired of the concretization of the south of England, they upped sticks, took Mum and Dad, and relocated to England’s beautiful Lake District. So Chaos and I go there every year as a brief respite from the pressures of city life and are treated to fantastic produce, bottles of Porty and hours of cards.


Obviously, I get to cook.


This dish was some really great Monkfish Tails that we picked up with the two brothers who have an excellent fishmongers stall in the town. I also found some tiny shrimp. Also whilst foraging in Mike’s garden I found some leeks and potatoes, and though I’ve had my eye of their sheep Doris for years, he’ll have to wait for another recipe. Chaos helps me in the kitchen on music selection and pea arrangement.


So, for the six of us, we used half a dozen potatoes cut in squares -the trimmings fed to Doris- roasted in a knob of butter. Salt, pepper and then added the leek that had been chopped in squares. Lastly the shrimps.


In the meantime, we’ve caramelized a sliced onion and added peas, light chicken stock, boiled, a dash of cream and liquidized. We’ve kept a hundred of the peas to decorate the plate.

Season the Monkfish tails with salt and pepper and in a hot pan add a spoonful of olive oil and a knob of butter…….wait…….wait…..when the butter is brown, add the tails and roast all over, reduce the heat and continue cooking. This pan won’t need to go into the oven and can be successfully cooked on the stove top.


Arrange the peas in a circle, spoon the sauce onto the plate inside the circle. Distribute the potatoes/leek/shrimp mixture in  moulds. Slice Monkfish tails. Arrange on top of potatoes. Thro prosciutto slices in a hot pan, remove immediately. No salt!!!

Crown the Monkfish with the hot prosciutto. A leaf or two of basil.


Wine: Mike and I enjoyed a tasty Spanish Verdejo.

Music: Simon and Garfunkel

Dinner topic: (it was September 2022) Safety of British Monarchy in Charles/Camilla/Kate and Wills hands.

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