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Pan-fried monkfish with mussels and a grain mustard tarragon sauce by Michael Caines MBE, Chef Patron of Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor

Cook at Home

After love there is only cuisine

Michael Caines MBE

What better inspiration for a romantic meal or 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)



Prep Time

30 mins

Cooking Time

20 mins


For the monkfish

  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 600g monkfish tail, cut into 12 medallions
  • olive oil
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • juice of one lemon

For the mussels

  • 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


To make the fish

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200℃
  • 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.

To make the mussels

  • 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 Manor, Courtlands Lane, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 3NZ

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