16 April 2015
Plaice with Brown Shrimps and Lemon Butter
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, or 160 degrees fan oven. Remove any skin from the plaice fillets and make sure there are no bones. Cover a large oven tray with foil, melt 20g of the butter in a small saucepan and brush the foil with the melted butter. Season both sides of the fish with black pepper then put the plaice on the tray, with the top facing down, and bake for about 5 or 6 minutes. Carefully turn the plaice over and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
2. To make the shrimps in sauce, cut the remaining 60g of butter into small pieces and melt it in a saucepan
remove it from the heat when it reaches the brown, bubbling stage. Grate the zest from half the lemon into the melted butter, then add the juice from half the lemon and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in the shrimps and return to a low heat to warm them through for 2-3 minutes. Chop the chives and parsley finely and sprinkle them in at the last minute, along with just a small pinch of cayenne pepper. Serve immediately, spooned over the hot plaice fillets.
- I prefer to bake the plaice, mainly because I like to avoid the fishy smell in the kitchen if I can, but you could grill or pan fry it instead; just make sure that you don’t overcook it.
- I served my fish with new potatoes and steamed fresh green vegetables, but it also looks and tastes good when served on a bed of wilted spinach.
- For a slightly different flavour, try chopping one or two shallots very finely, sautéing them in butter and adding them when you make the sauce. Or chop a couple of teaspoons of capers and stir them into the sauce.
- Choose your own favourite herbs, maybe chervil or dill instead of chives and parsley.
- If you like creamy sauces, you could stir a tablespoon of crème fraiche or cream into the sauce at the end of the cooking time.