We get our plaice from local sustainable sources. They are a flat fish, rich in vitamin B12, which is good for healthy skin and hair and easily recognised by the orange spots on their smooth, brown skin. Delicate both in texture and in flavour, plaice needs to be handled gently and cooked quickly. Fillets should only need a total cooking time of 4-5 minutes. Best pan-fried, grilled or baked.
Pan-fried: Season the plaice fillets and lightly dust with a little plain flour. Heat a mixture of butter and a spot of olive oil in a frying pan add the fish, skin side down and cook for 2 minutes. Turn over carefully, cook for a further 2 minutes and transfer to plates.
Melt 2 oz of butter in the hot pan, add the juice of half a lemon and a handful of chopped flatleaf parsley. Drizzle over the plaice and some new potatoes and broccoli.
Baked: Heat the oven to 200C. Put a generous dollop of oil into a roasting pan or dish, add 2 onions thinly sliced, 2 cloves of garlic (whole), stir, and then enough cider to cover the bottom of the pan. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Season the plaice on both sides, remove the pan from the oven and put the plaice on top of the softened onions. Return the pan to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes. Then check to see if the plaice is cooked by making an incision into the thickest part of the fish. If the flesh breaks away from the bone easily, it's done.
Dot knobs of butter over the fish and scatter a handful of fresh tarragon. Pop the pan back into the oven for 2 minutes.
Put the pan on the table, so everyone can help themselves to some of the plaice, along with some of the cider onions and, a hunk of bread.
Based in Honiton, EX14 1HA, in East Devon, we are an independent traditional fishmonger committed to providing fresh fish and shellfish of the highest standard. Order via The Devon Fishmonger website, open 24/7. Or call 01404 548867.
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