Flatfish

Flatfish
To make a good sustainable choice, check fish stocks status here. Most flatfish stocks are having a difficult time, so it’s worth a look.

§ Sole and dabs are delicate creatures suited to butter and lemon and little else, served with green peas, white bread and butter. You can cut the crusts off and wear a pair of white gloves while eating, if you like.

§ Cockles, green peas, butter or cream and white wine make a simple sauce for white fish. We find cheap pinot grigio to be a very good wine for this purpose. NB don’t buy cooking wine – rubbish wine does tend to make for a rubbish sauce – it is better, when saving the pennies, to leave the wine out completely. It is entirely possible to enjoy fish with nothing more than melted butter (a favourite sauce in the olden days of Merrie England).

§ The ultimate in buttery dishes is à la meunière. Take any flat white fish, lightly-flour it, and let it swim in a shallow pan of hot butter. Sprinkle with lemon juice, noisette (brown) butter and parsley. It is sublime.

§ There are those who suggest, logically enough, that a very buttery white fish dish can be ‘cut’ and magically enhanced by something acidic or strong-tasting, such as gooseberry sauce or liquorice. The Taster is not completely convinced – we have tried plaice with raspberry sauce in a very nice Boulogne restaurant and, while we could see what Chef was saying, it seemed like a lot of effort to produce something not-particularly-amazing. We suspect he may just have been sick to death of doing plaice the same old way all the time. Still, it was worth a try; and if you see carrelet (plaice) on the menu of a seaside town in France and you haven’t yet tried it, do so — it gives you an idea of the quantities of butter needed to cook the thing properly. And remember: there are no transfats, E-numbers or other rubbish in butter.

This is a short entry since The Taster has yet to create a full article on white fish, but we hope the above ideas might provide some inspiration. We do update entries, so check back any time. Click HERE for more ingredients.

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