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How to Grill or Bake a Plaice

A Fine Seasonal Flat Fish….

Plaice has long been a favourite of mine, I like the fact that it’s not as trendy to eat as other flat fish, it always plays second fiddle to Dover and Lemon Soles, Turbot and Halibut and whilst not in their league remains a perfectly good fish to eat.

I used to learn all of the classical fish dishes using plaice fillets; paupiettes, goujons, sauces, garnishes, the whole lot. My college had little funding for catering so plaice was the cheapest option for the students to massacre with a brand new filleting knife-been there, done that!

I hardly ever fillet plaice now, they’re much nicer cooked on the bone and often the size of the fillets makes it a pointless excercise in filleting. I cook fish far more simply now than I have ever done, whole fish such as plaice should be left alone when they are at their peak, I don’t see the point in messing around with them.

Here’s a simple way of cooking plaice or any other whole flat fish for that matter; wash your fish and pat dry with some kitchen towel. Crank your oven or grill up then get a tray big enough to accomodate your fish on. Give the fish and the tray a good dose of olive oil and butter followed by a good turn of the pepper mill and a sprinkle of rock salt. You can throw a couple of sprigs of fresh oregano on if you want but not dried, I forbid it! Take some cherry vine tomatoes, half a dozen or so per person and put those on the tray. Bake the lot for about twelve to fifteen minutes or as much as twenty depending on the size of the fish until the skin blisters and the flesh looks as though it will come away from the bone without much bother.

I like to finish the dish with some capers and anchovies, I serve the lot with some pink fur potatoes in parsley butter and a simple green salad with a german style creamed herb dressing. The residue cooking butter is combined with those from the potatoes and poured over the fish.

Job done….

plaice

14 Comments

  1. Cid says:

    Miles,

    That’ll do for me! On the rare occasion I venture into a good fish shop, that’s the fish I choose.

    I think I’ve got oregano in the garden but it’s been there for years and I can’t remember whether it might have been marjoram ….. I shall delve in to the herbaceous border and find out once and for all. Do you think a call to Kew is out of the question? :)

    Cid

    August 6, 2008 @ 8:08 am

  2. El Commandante says:

    Hello Miles,

    There is something very appealing about a whole fish on a plate ! It makes a real statement.

    Would you also recommend skate-wing for this recipe ?

    Cheers

    C.

    August 6, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

  3. miles says:

    Cid,
    Glad you approve, marjoram/oregano it’s all good.

    Miles

    August 6, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

  4. miles says:

    El Commandante,
    It’s a pity we don’t serve more whole fish, the Asian countries do and they look fantastic on a plate.
    Skate wing would be perfect with this recipe, good thinking!

    Miles

    August 6, 2008 @ 2:37 pm

  5. Christine says:

    Miles,
    That looks delicious and will me my next fish meal. What are pink fur potatoes though?

    Christine

    August 10, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

  6. miles says:

    Christine,
    Pink fur are a ‘knobbly’ type of new potato, tubular rather than round and quite delicious with parsley butter and black pepper.

    Miles

    August 10, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

  7. Glenda says:

    Thank you for this recipe. I bought 2 whole plaice on recommendation from the fish counter at Sainsburys. Then discovered all my recipes then said to fillet it, and my beloved Silver Spoon Italian cook book didn’t even mention plaice. Internet recipes would have left the fish unrecognisable. But this recipe - wonderful. It tasted divine, yet was so simple. Thanks again.

    October 23, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

  8. miles says:

    Glenda,
    Welcome to the site and thank you for your comment. I’m pleased to hear it worked out for you. It is such a nice fish that it deserves very simple and effective flavours to allow the fish to remain the star.
    Best wishes
    Miles

    October 23, 2009 @ 5:33 pm

  9. Ann says:

    thankyou! Lovely recipe, looked it up when the fishmonger arrived with plaice because he could not get turbot !!
    Great flavour, simple and showed the fish off to perfection.
    keep up the posts please!!!!
    Ann

    November 4, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  10. miles says:

    Ann,
    Welcome to the site and thank you for your comment. Glad to hear it worked ok for you, it’s great with any flat fish really but you could also do it with haddock, farmed cod or salmon.
    Kind regards
    Miles

    November 4, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

  11. Duncan says:

    Hi

    I’ve just followed your receipe after buying two plaice fillets for 50p at ASDA

    It was lovely

    Cheers

    Here’s a fishy joke

    What did the shark say to the other shark?

    Your Plaice or mine?

    August 7, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  12. miles says:

    Duncan
    Glad you liked the recipe and thanks for the joke, very witty!

    Kind regards
    Miles

    August 7, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  13. Bob says:

    Thanks so much for this method. No more gutting and slicing into four pieces. The result is perfect and it made me wonder why people go to all the trouble to do so when it is much easier to remove the meat from the bone when it is cooked.

    September 7, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

  14. miles says:

    Bob,
    Welcome to the site, glad it has been of some use to you. Thank you for letting me know, hope you return again soon.
    Kind regards
    Miles

    September 7, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

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