Baked Plaice

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by Chef Darina Allen Served with herb butter

Yield: Makes 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 4 very fresh plaice or sole on the bone
  • 2 to 4 ounces butter
  • 4 teaspoons mixed finely chopped fresh parsley, chives, fennel and thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Turn the fish on its side and remove the head. Wash the fish and clean the slit very thoroughly. With a sharp knife cut through the skin right around the fish, just where the "fringe" meets the flesh. Be careful to cut neatly and to cross the side cuts at the tail or it will be difficult to remove the skin later on.
  3. Sprinkle the fish with salt and freshly ground pepper and lay them in 3 inches of water in a shallow baking tin. Bake in a moderately hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes according to the size of the fish.
  4. The water should have evaporated as the fish cooked. Check to see whether the fish is cooked by lifting the flesh from the bone at the head it should lift off the bone easily and be quite white with no trace of pink.
  5. Meanwhile melt the butter and stir in the freshly chopped herbs.
  6. Just before serving catch the skin down near the tail and pull it off gently (the skin will tear badly if not properly cut). Lift the fish onto hot plates and spoon the herb butter over them. Serve immediately.

Tips/Techniques

Chef Darina Allen notes: This is a very simple "master recipe" which can be used not only for plaice and sole but for all very fresh flat fish, e.g. brill, turbot, dabs, flounder and lemon sole. Depending on the size of the fish, it can a starter or a main course. It is also delicious with hollandaise sauce, mousseline or beurre blanc. Recipe courtesy of Darina Allen © 2006 Darina Allen This segment appears in show #3111.
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