Plaice with samphire

Nathan Outlaw puts the seaside on a plate with this delicious combination of seafood and sea vegetables
Plaice with samphire
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the plaice

  • 4 whole plaice, (weighing about 500g each), cleaned and gutted

For the potted cockle sauce

  • 60 g shelled cockles
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 200 ml light olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 100 ml fish stock
  • 100 ml double cream

To serve

  • 600 g samphire
  • 1 head baby gem lettuce, leaves seperated

Method

1. For the plaice: preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

2. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and dry-fry the plaice, one at a time, for 1-2 minutes on each side or until crisp and brown. Transfer to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 3-4 minutes, or until just cooked through. (Alternatively you can omit the frying stage and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes.)

3. For the cockle sauce: while the fish is cooking, place the cockles in a small pan over a high heat, cover with a lid and steam in their own juices for 1-2 minutes until cooked through. Set aside.

4. For the next stage of the sauce, make a mayonnaise by whisking together the egg yolks and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Next add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and whisk vigorously until incorporated. Add another teaspoon of oil and whisk again. Dont be tempted to add the oil in larger quantities or the mayonnaise will split.

6. Very slowly drizzle in the remaining oil, whisking all the time, until you have a thick, smooth emulsified sauce then stir in the nutmeg and cayenne and taste for seasoning.

7. Pour the fish stock and cream into a small pan and warm through over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

8. Pour the warm stock and cream mixture into the mayonnaise and whisk to combine until you have a smooth sauce the consistency of double cream. Stir in the cockles and any juices.

9. To serve: steam the samphire for 2-3 minutes then arrange on 4 serving plates. Arrange the whole plaice and some lettuce alongside then spoon the cockle sauce over the plaice. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

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