Recipe: Make Michelin-starred Norfolk chef Galton Blackiston’s fancy plaice dish
- Credit: John Scott Blackwell
With his new book, Hook, Line, Sinker released last week, Michelin-starred Norfolk chef Galton Blackiston says he hopes more people will eat the beautiful fish East Anglia has to offer.
My new book's taken two years in the making and I'm obviously very excited about it. It's been delayed purely because I wanted to get it right. It's so different and very unlike me really because it's very modern! I'm excited for the fact I think people will enjoy the book and will like the aesthetics of the book.
Autumn is a great time for local fish. We're now moving into the time of year where sustainable cod is coming in, and skate win, which is very underestimated and underrated. Obviously plaice is great too and then there's hake and even whiting to try. Line-caught cod is superb at this time of the year and I use it in several guises including a fantastic recipe with miso sauce, fried lettuce and shallot puree. It's the most beautiful combinations. It's quite unusual but it works.
For my recipe this week here's a T-bone of place. We get the whole plaice and cut them straight down the middle so you get a long fillet and a smaller fillet still on the bone. It's quite then to fry them with the skin on for four minutes or so on each side. There's no better way of cooking it and what l like about cooking plaice this way is, if the skin peels away nice and easily you know the fish is cooked – that's a great way of telling it's done.
It's served with a Champagne sauce because that's the ultimate, but you can substitute that with prosecco or white wine – or even Noilly Prat!
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T-bone plaice, baby squid with champagne and caviar sauce
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For the sauce:
200g salted butter
1 large shallot, peeled, finely sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled, finely sliced
6 button mushrooms, sliced
300ml white fish stock
300ml double cream
sea salt & black pepper
1 tbsp Sevruga caviar
For the plaice and squid:
1 large plaice, roughly 1.5kg
400g baby squid
1 knob of salted butter
sea salt & black pepper
1 handful of sea beet leaves
To make the sauce melt 50g of the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallot, carrot and mushrooms and sweat until just softened but not coloured. Add half the Champagne and reduce by a third to a syrupy consistency. Add the white fish stock and reduce by half, and finally add the cream and simmer, and once again reduce by half.
Pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan and then over a low heat whisk in the remaining butter and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside until ready to use.
To fry the plaice and squid, remove the head from the plaice and with a sharp knife cut lengthways through the bone straight down the centre line of the fish to give two fillets on the bone, cut into four steaks and set aside.
Clean and wash the squid, pat dry, cut off the tentacles, slice the body into rings and set aside.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add a splash of oil and the butter. When the butter starts to foam, add the plaice steaks, fry for three to four minutes on each side to achieve a deep brown colour on the dark skin side and a golden colour on the lighter skin side, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
At the same time reheat the sauce until hot, and stir in the remaining champagne, add the caviar and check the seasoning.
Heat another pan on a high heat, add a good splash of oil, throw in the squid and fry for a couple of minutes, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Serve the plaice and fried squid with the champagne and caviar sauce over the top. Garnish with sea beet leaves and serve with some wilted spinach.