A plaice in my heart

April 12, 2010

A couple of years ago, my mum and I did a fish cookery course down at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage in Dorset.

We were shown how to prep any number of different fish, from mackerel and sole to crab and oysters. Once we amateurs had done mauling these poor creatures about, they were taken off to the kitchen where the professionals cooked them up for us to eat.

It was a really fun day, but I have to say, I haven’t really used any of the skills I learned since then. However, when I bought this lovely, bright, fresh plaice at Devon Fish in Borough Market on Saturday, and the guy asked me if I wanted him to fillet it, I decided I really had to have a go myself. And, I don’t think I did too bad a job of it!

I reckon, as long as you have a really sharp little knife and take things slowly and carefully, a flat fish like plaice is the ideal thing to start your filleting with.

I’d bought the plaice to go with a recipe I recently discovered on The New York Times website for leeks with anchovy butter. I’d always thought I wasn’t very fond of leeks, but have recently come to the conclusion that what I didn’t like was leek and potato soup, so have been making up for lost leek-time recently.

I simply pan-fried the plaice fillets in some olive oil, with a little salt and pepper, and served the leeks on the side. I had substituted the shallots with red onion as I’d forgotten to buy the former. And, although the onions were slightly crunchier than they ought to have been, the dish was really delicious.

However, it was a little heavy on the butter for my taste, so I might try it with a mix of butter and olive oil next time. But there definitely will be a next time.

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4 Responses to “A plaice in my heart”

  1. Wendy Says:

    How fantastic! You did a great job on the fish! And to go on a H F-W course at River Cottage – that must have been brilliant.


  2. I’d really recommend doing one of the courses at River Cottage, if only for the amazing scenery! I’ve been meaning to go back and do the bread one some day.

  3. jasnieres Says:

    That was a lovely day, even if we didn’t actually manage to go out and catch our crab! Still, we agreed that we probably had a better day.
    I bought a filletting knife, but French fishmongers insist on doing it for you. Probably think that no-one, especially the stupid English, are capable of such skills.


  4. You done a great job well done 🙂 the leek and red onion accompaniment sounds wonderful!


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