Crispy plaice, pickled cucumber and brown shrimp crispbread

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Chef and broadcaster Valentine Warner turns crispy breadcrumbed plaice into an elegant canapé or starter in this simple seafood recipe. The chef uses rye crispbreads to form both the coating and the base, although the portions could easily be served individually on smaller crackers if preferred. Topped with a creamy herb mayonnaise, a refreshing cucumber pickle and tiny brown shrimp, every mouthful has balance and flavour.

First published in 2016




Crispy plaice

Pickled cucumber

Chervil mayonnaise

To assemble


Begin with the pickled cucumber. Place the cucumber slices in a colander placed over a bowl and sprinkle over the salt, mixing to fully coat. Allow to drain for 30 minutes
Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the mayonnaise and reserve in the fridge until ready to serve
Once drained, squeeze out any remaining moisture from the cucumber and place the slices in a bowl with the vinegar and sugar. Mix well, then set aside to pickle while preparing the plaice
To make the crispy coating, break up the large crispbread and blitz in a food processor to fine crumbs (or, alternatively, crush by hand). Pour onto a plate and mix in a little salt and pepper to season
Pat the plaice portions dry with kitchen paper to help the coating stick. Dip the plaice portions first in the beaten eggs, then roll in the seasoned crumbs until fully coated
Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Once foaming, add the coated plaice and fry for 1–2 minutes on each side until golden brown and crisp, taking care not to let the butter burn
Drain the cooked plaice portions on kitchen paper while assembling the crispbreads
Smear 4 small dollops of the herb mayonniase on the crispbread and sit the plaice portions on top. Spoon the remaining mayonnaise on top of each portion
Drain the vinegar from the pickled cucumber and squeeze out any excess liquid. Mound some of the cucumber on top of the mayonniase and scatter over the brown shrimp and capers. Garnish with a few sprigs of chervil to serve

Valentine Warner is a cook, food writer and broadcaster with a passion for seasonal produce and making the most of the British outdoors.

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