Thursday, 19 May 2022

Just a little bit of art and sole

Delyth Kelsey–Smith, sous chef at the Baskerville in Lower Shiplake, shares another recipe:

Delyth Kelsey–Smith, sous chef at the Baskerville in Lower Shiplake, shares another recipe:

Pan fried Dover sole with parsley and dill sauce, croutons, capers and lemon

THIS dish is just as good with cod, lemon sole and any other white fish but today I have used Cornish caught Dover sole since it is particularly good value at the moment.

This is very simple, clean cooking. Classic and delicious.

Serves four


Six slices of brown bread, crust removed cut into 5mm cubes. Olive oil for drizzling and frying

Four tbsp small capers in brine drained and patted dry

Two lemons

Four Dover sole, skinned both side and trimmed (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)

Plain flour for dusting

100g butter

Eight tbsp finely chopped curly–leaf parsley

Salt and white pepper

Parsley and dill sauce

Two bunches of curly–leaf parsley, leaves picked and the stems discharged

One bunch of dill picked

Four banana shallots, finely diced

200ml white wine

200ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 180C/ gas mark 4.

Place the cubes of bread on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake until they are toasted and crisp, about 6–8 minutes. Remove from the oven and season.

Warm 1–2cm of olive oil in the bottom of a deep, medium–sized saucepan until hot. Carefully lower in the capers on a slotted spoon and cook for a few minutes until they are crisp and start to pop. Remove them with the slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Trim the ends from the lemon and stand upright on a chopping board. With a small, sharp knife work your way around the fruit, cutting away the peel and outer membrane. Cut the fleshy segments out of the inner membrane. Squeeze the inner membrane’s juice into a glass and reserve it for cooking the fish. Lay the lemon segments on a roasting tray and blowtorch them until they are charred and blackened â?? this will give them a lovely, toasted taste.

Next, make the parsley and dill sauce. Prepare a bowl of iced water and put it by the hob. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the parsley and dill until they’re just wilted, about five seconds. Drain and immediately plunge into the iced water to refresh, then drain and squeeze out the excess water with some kitchen paper. Put on to a chopping board and chop roughly.

Warm the butter in a small, heavy–bottomed saucepan, add the shallots and sweat over a medium–low heat until soft, stirring from time to time. Pour on the wine and bring to the boil. Boil until reduced to a glaze then pour in the double cream. Bring to the boil, add the blanched parsley and dill, stir and season.

Remove from the heat and whizz in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve, cover and keep warm, or store in the fridge until needed if you are making the sauce a few hours ahead.

Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Dust the fish on both sides with flour and shake off any excess. Place the fish in the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes on both sides until you have a crisp and golden brown crust. Drop in the butter and, when it has melted, baste the fish with it.

Add the reserved lemon juice to the pan and baste the fish a little more. Remove the fish from the pan and throw in the chopped parsley, croutons, capers and lemon segments. Season.

Heat the parsley and dill sauce and drizzle it on to four warmed plates. Place the Dover sole on top, then pour on the garnishes from the fish pan.

Serve with boiled new potatoes or a bowl of French fries and a wedge of lemon.

Now relax and enjoy your delicious fish dish.

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