chef michael caines-minIn the words of Michael Caines MBE

After Love, there is only Cuisine

What better inspiration for Valentine’s Day, the food of love… Mussels!

This is a great way to serve Monkfish; it’s a meaty fish that is able to take the curry spices. The roasted monkfish is served with mussels cooked in white wine and saffron with a grain mustard and tarragon sauce.

Skill level 3 (1 simple to 5 being complex and challenging) 



  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 600g monkfish tail, cut into 12 medallions
  • Olive Oil
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • Juice of one lemon


  • 40g shallots, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a sprig of fresh thyme
  • 50ml white wine
  • 400g mussels, washed and cleaned
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 25ml double or whipping cream
  • 500ml fish stock
  • 1 teaspoon grain mustard
  • chopped fresh tarragon

Pre-heat the oven to 200c


Mix the curry powder and 1 teaspoon of salt together. Season the fish with the curry salt and a good twist of black pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a non-stick ovenproof frying pan, then add the fish and 20g of butter. Cook over a medium heat until the fish is golden brown, then turn it over and put the pan into the oven for approximately 3 minutes. Remove, squeeze over the lemon juice and set aside to rest.


Wash and clean the mussels. Melt 20g of butter in a large saucepan, then add the shallots and cook out until they are soft and transparent. Add the bay leaf, thyme and tarragon followed by the white wine and bring to the boil, then add cleaned mussels and cover with a lid. Once the mussels have opened, pour them into a colander over a bowl and leave to drain (discard any mussels that have not opened). Pour the cooking liquid back into the saucepan, add a pinch of saffron strands, the cream and the fish stock. Bring to the boil, then whisk in the remaining butter and simmer until reduced to a creamy consistency. Add a teaspoon of grain mustard, season with salt and pepper and finish with chopped tarragon.

To Serve

Briefly reheat the monkfish in the oven for a few minutes, then remove and transfer to your serving plates. Pour the cooked mussels over the top (in or out of the shell, as you wish) and spoon over the sauce.

lympstone for recipe blog-min

Lympstone Manor, Coutlands Lane, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 3NZ

Alternatively, for the ultimate romantic gesture book a table at Lympstone Manor and dine with the Luxury Restaurant Club to enjoy a complimentary glass of Michael Caines Blanc de Blanc Champagnenot valid on February 14th, see details

Download the Luxury Restaurant Guide FREE APP HERE and follow steps to join club.

Images credits: Food – David Griffen / Michael Caines MBE – credit Matt Round  

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