Baked Plaice with Prawns, Ceps, Chestnuts and Thyme Sauce

Alex Mackay's stylish fish recipe combines tiger prawns and plaice with a luxurious cream sauce
By Alex Mackay
Baked Plaice with Prawns, Ceps, Chestnuts and Thyme Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 12 raw tiger prawns, in their shells
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp cognac
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 20 g cep mushrooms, soaked in 100ml water
  • 20 cooked chestnuts
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 8 large plaice fillets, (i.e. half a fish per person)
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 12 spring onions, halved and blanched in boiling water for 1 minute
  • 6 sprigs thyme, leaves picked from the stems
  • cayenne pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

2. Remove the heads and shells from the tiger prawns. Slice down the backs of the tails, remove the black veins and discard.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and gently fry the prawn heads and shells for 1 minute. Add the tomato purée and cook gently for another minute.

4. Pour in the cognac and white wine. Add the ceps and their soaking water, with a little more water to cover the shells completely.

5. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

6. Strain, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid to the pan and bring to the boil. Cook steadily until the liquid is reduced by one third.

7. Remove from the heat. Add 8 cooked chestnuts and the cream and blend in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.

8. For the plaice; put 4 plaice fillets on a baking tray, brush with half the melted butter, season to taste with salt and pepper and place a second fillet on top of each one.

9. Brush with the remaining butter and bake for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 3 minutes.

10. When the plaice has been cooking for 5 minutes, heat a large frying pan with the remaining vegetable oil and sauté the prawn tails for 1-½ to 2 minutes on each side, adding 12 cooked chestnuts and the spring onions halfway through.

11. Heat the cream sauce over a low heat and add the thyme leaves.

12. To serve; put the plaice on serving plates alongside the prawns, spring onions and chestnuts. Spoon the sauce over the top.

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