Fillet of plaice with mussels, samphire and salsify

A fabulous dinner party dish from Norse, combining a tender fillet of plaice with mussels and a burnt cream sauce.

CREDIT: Recipe from Norse, Harrogate; Image by Guzelian

Serves Serves 4

  • 8 fillets of plaice
  • 500g mussels
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 small fennel, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of lemon thyme or thyme
  • 250ml/g white wine
  • 100ml water
  • 500g whipping cream, Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 200g Jerusalem artichokes, 40g smoked Yorkshire rapeseed oil, 50g butter, 1/2 lemon
  • 300g salsify, 50g samphire, 30g sea purslane (optional), 5g tarragon leaves

Top Tips

If you have purchased a whole plaice, remove the fillets and set aside. Wash and chop the bones, set aside or freeze to make fish stock with at a later date.

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Method

  1. Rinse the mussels under cold water for 10 minutes to remove any grit. Pull the beards off the mussels. Combine with the chopped vegetables, garlic and herbs.
  2. In a suitable large pan bring the wine to the boil, add the water and return to boil. Add the mussels and vegetables, mix and cover. Cook until the mussels open, around 3 minutes on high heat.
  3. Strain the liquid off and reserve. Give the pan a quick rinse and add the mussel stock to the pan, reduce the liquid down till almost nothing remains.
  4. Whilst this is happening pick the mussels out of the shells, this is easiest when they are still warm, store in the fridge till needed later.
  5. Once the stock is reduced add a third of the cream & keeping on a high heat, stir the cream until it starts to catch and burn. Add another third of the cream, repeat again until all the cream is used, you want the sauce to be thick. Strain through a sieve, reserve till later.
  6. Peel the salsify into water with some lemon juice in to prevent browning, chop to 1/2cm pieces and simmer in seasoned water till just tender. Set aside till later.
  7. Chop the Jerusalem artichokes and simmer in water with the lemon till tender. Drain and puree adding only a little water (plus seasoning) to create a thick puree.
  8. Pick any woody stalks off the samphire and pick the leaves off the sea purslane.
  9. TO SERVE: Heat all the vegetables and mussels in the burnt cream, adding the tarragon at the last minute. Heat a little oil in a non stick pan, season the plaice with salt and pepper and fry for 2-3 miutes each side until golden brown. Add a quenelle of puree on the side.

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