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Piquant Monkfish

Piquant Monkfish recipe, eat well on universal credit

This intact fish should have been £14.38 but I happened upon it with a yellow sticker price of £5.76. Probably the best £5.76 we’ve spent for a long time. Breaking it down into 2 fillets was a bit of fun for an old ‘Butchers Boy’, but we got there in the end and totally boneless it was one of the best meals we’ve had for ages!


1 Monkfish Tail de-boned. It’s not a very complex fish to de-bone but ask you fishmonger if you’re not confident with a sharp knife
2 Anchovies, chopped
2 Sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
2 Tsp of Capers, chopped
The Zest of a Lemon, and wedges to garnish
Slices of Parma Ham, to wrap
A handful of Flat Leak Parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 Tbsp of Balsam Vinegar
A selection of Vegetables of your choice to tray bake, including Vine Tomatoes
Rocket leaves to garnish
Salt & Pepper to season


(1) In a bowl mix the Anchovies, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Capers, Parsley, Lemon Zest and season with Salt & Pepper.
(2) Slightly overlap slices of Parma Ham and spread this mixture down the middle. You are aiming to be able to wrap each fillet entirely.
(3) Add the Monkfish Fillet.
(4) Wrap tightly to enclose and seal.
(5) Place your vegetable and Vine Tomatoes in an oven tray, drizzle with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and season with Salt & Pepper.
(6) Roast in a preheated oven at 170c for 10 minutes.
(7) Remove from the oven and add the Monkfish parcels.
(8) Return to the oven for 15 minutes, or until the Fish is cooked through.
(9) Remove from the oven and set the Fish aside for a moment.
(10) Plate the vegetables and slice the Fish parcels diagonally.
(11) Place the Monkfish over the roasted vegetables and drizzle with a little of the remaining juices.

We garnished ours with Lemon wedges and Rocket. This was one of those meals which we didn’t want to end!


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“Universal credit is likely to be the main cause of the explosion in food bank use, the government has admitted, after years of denying the link.
Delays that meant people “had difficulty accessing their money early enough” could be to blame for claimants seeking emergency food aid, Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, told MPs.” - Full article here  
The truth is a bit more complex than they are actually admitting, but an attempt at honesty in Politics is a rare event and one which should celebrated.
There are three main failing in Universal Credit which we are aware of. (There are doubtlessly many more)
(1) Late initial Payments. Although we did have some money to survive the initial 5 week waiting period it was literally less than £100 when we initiated our claim. Yes they do offer you an Advance. But as with anything you borrow it needs to be repaid. Taking 10 monthly repayments from a sum which is impossible to live on in the first place is hardly assistance in the long run.
(2) The “Housing Element” The cost of housing is simply not reflected in the capped limits imposed on an area by area basis. We unfortunately spent six month's in a Homeless Hostel after two very damaging contracts cost us everything we had. It soon became clear that even in a Homeless Hostel we had to add £120 per month from the money which we were supposed to feed and cloth ourselves with, just in order to make up the rent and service charges and keep ahead. If you default when you are in a Hostel there really is nowhere else for you to go. This left us with the princely sum of £4 a day for two adults to live on.
(3) Couples are discriminated against. If you live together or did when you initially make a claim, your payment is some 42% lower than two individual single people making separate claims. The Conservative party once proclaimed themselves The Party of Family Values?
Clearly there will always be an element of society who want a free ride. But personally I can't imagine anybody making an unnecessary Universal Credit claim. Once you are “In the system” you are effectively trapped in poverty. If for example you can not afford to cloth yourself appropriately for an interview, you are clearly at a massive disadvantage. The threat of being “Sanctioned” hangs over your head constantly. But unlike “Job Centres” in the past they do not offer any assistance in finding work and a way out. 

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