Tartare sauce is a classic accompaniment to seafood, and in this plaice recipe, Galton Blackiston spruces up a tried and tested dish of battered fish with a beautifully balanced homemade sauce packed with capers, cornichons and chopped herbs. For sustainability, select fish caught with otter trawls or seine nets, or plaice caught from the North or Irish Sea, whose populations are currently at a non-threatened level.
There can't be many Michelin-starred chefs who started out selling homemade cakes, biscuits and preserves on a market stall in Rye in 1979. Yet, the quietly spoken, endearingly eccentric Galton Blackiston isn't like other chefs.
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In a shallow bowl, beat the egg together with the milk to make an egg wash. Season the flour with salt and pepper and put on a plate. Put the breadcrumbs on a separate plate
50g of flour
125g of breadcrumbs
150ml of milk
Trim the plaice fillets and cut in half lengthways. Dip the plaice strips into the flour first, shaking off any excess. Next dip the fillets into the egg wash before placing into the breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs into the fillets. Repeat with the other fillets. This can be done ahead of time
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add a splash of oil followed by a knob of butter. Add the plaice fillets and fry until lightly coloured on each side. Transfer the fillets to a baking tray and finish in the oven for 5 minutes until the plaice is just cooked
1 knob of butter
While the fish is cooking, make the tartare sauce; place the egg, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar and mustard powder into a food processor. Season with the sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Blend on high speed before slowly adding the oil in a steady stream until thickened and emulsified
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar
1 pinch of caster sugar
1 pinch of English mustard powder
275ml of sunflower oil
Transfer the mayonnaise to a bowl and fold in the chopped shallot, cornichons and capers. Then add the chopped herbs: parsley, tarragon and chives, and check the seasoning. If not serving straight away, cover with cling film and refrigerate until needed
1 tbsp of capers
2 tbsp of parsley
1 tbsp of fresh tarragon
1 tbsp of fresh chives
Remove the fish from the oven and serve with a dollop of tartare sauce
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