Spiced brill fillets with deep-fried celery chips and tartare sauce

For a stylish take on fish and chips, try Sophie Grigson's pan-fried brill with celery chips and tangy home-made tartare sauce
By Sophie Grigson
Spiced brill fillets with deep-fried celery chips and tartare sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus at least 15 mins soaking
  • Effort: medium


For the spicy brill fillets

  • 2 brill fillet, each 250-300g
  • 2 tbsp fine cornmeal, (polenta)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp smoked paprika, Spanish smoked pimenton
  • 30 g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 1 lemons, cut into wedges to serve

For the celery chips

  • 200 g stick celery
  • 300 ml milk, for soaking
  • 45 g plain flour
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 300 ml vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the tartare sauce

  • 200 ml mayonnaise
  • 20 g shallots, very finely chopped
  • 0.5 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 0.5 tbsp chopped chervil, optional
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1.5 tbsp capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp cornichons, or pickled gherkins chopped
  • 1 pinches black pepper


1. To make the celery chips, cut each stalk into 5 cm pieces then cut each piece in 4 lengthways. Soak in cold milk for at least 15 minutes. 2. Heat the sunflower oil in a deep fat fryer or wok to 180C. Season the flour with salt and freshly ground pepper. 3. Just before frying, drain the celery thoroughly and toss in the seasoned flour. 4. Shake off any excess flour and deep fry in batches until golden brown - 3-4 minutes should do it. Stir them once or twice with the handle of a wooden spoon as they cook to separate out clumps. 5. Lift the chips out of the fat with a slotted spoon, then drain briefly on kitchen paper. Taste and season with more salt if needed, and keep warm. 6. Pat the brill dry on kitchen paper. Mix the cornmeal with the flour, coriander, cumin, smoked pimenton, salt and freshly ground pepper in a shallow dish. Coat each fillet in the cornmeal mixture shaking off the excess. 7. Heat the butter and olive oil until hot and foaming in a frying pan large enough to take the brill. Fry the fish for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until just cooked through. 8. To make the tartare sauce, mix together the mayonnaise, shallot, chives, parsley, chervil tarragon, capers and cornichons. Taste and adjust the seasoning. 9. Serve the brill with the celery chips, tartare sauce and wedges of lemon.

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