Mette’s whole fried plaice
For 4 people
2 large whole plaice or 4 small whole plaice (or other small flatfish)
50 g butter
500 g new potatoes
500g of whole peas
½ head of black cabbage
1 bunch (or 10 pieces) of green asparagus
1 bunch (or 10 pieces) of radishes
4 spring onion
150 feta cheese
1 bunch or 1 pot of watercress
1 handfull of parsley leaves
1 tbsp honey
4 tbsp olive oil
Lemonjuice from ½ lemon
200g whitewine (dry and fruity)
200 g cold butter (cut into small squares)
1 glas (around 50g) of capers
1 handfull of each dill, parsley, chives and ramson (or other herbs)
Zest from 1 organic lemon
If you get a whole fish, start by removing the small spike in the top of the fins of the right side of the fish to avoid any injuries. Continue to remove the head with a knife. Then, on the back of the fish (the white side), make a cut from the top to around halfway down the fish, following the fins. Cut through the bones but not the dark skin on the front side. Turn the fish around and use a towel to pull the skin off. Leave the white skin on the back side on. Use a pair of scissors or a knife to cut of the fins and the tail. Rinse the fish and remove any blood under cold running water and dry the fish with a towel. Alternatively, buy the fish already skinned or ask your fishmonger to do it for you.
Prepare everything for your salad. Remove the peas from the husk. Break of the bottom of the green asparagus, where it snaps naturally, and cut them into approximately ½ cm wide pieces. Rinse the radishes under cold water and cut off most of the green top and the bottom. Cut them into quarters. Clean the springonions and cut off around half of the green tops. Slice them thinly. Pick the tops of the watercress. Break up the feta cheese into smaller chunks.
Mix the salad vinaigrette. First pound the parsley leaves in a mortar and then mix in the honey, the olive oil, the lemonjuice and the salt. Mix all the prepared ingredients for the salad and add the vinaigrette. Toss everything together and put into your serving bowl.
Prepare for the buttersauce. Chop all the herbs for the buttersauce. Drain the capers from the liquid and chop them roughly. Grate the zest from the lemon. Bring the wine to a boil, and let it reduce to about a fourth.
Rinse the potatoes under cold water and boil them in salted water with a few sprigs of lemonthyme. Boil until ”al dente”, for about 5-10 minutes depending on the size. Then turn off the heat and let them sit in the hot water. Drain the potatoes from the water when tender. Roughly pick a small handfull of lemonthyme leaves and tops.
Make the buttersauce. Slowly add the squares of cold butter to the simmering wine one by one while whisking. Once all the butter is incorporated and the sauce is becoming slightly thicker add the chopped herbs, the capers and the lemonzest. Season with salt and pepper. Keep it on low heat.
Place the ryeflour in a large tray. Dredge the fish in the flour on both sides. Heat up a large non stick pan and add neutral oil. Add the fish (in a large pan you can cook two fish at a time) to the pan with the white skin facing up. Fry until golden and flip it with a wide palet knife. Add a spoonful of butter and baste the top off the fish. Cook the fish a couple of minutes on both sides or until just cooked. Check by making a small cut by the bone in the middle.
Take the fish of the pan, season with salt and serve on individual plates with a slice of lemon. Add a bit of the cooking butter from the fish to the warm, cooked potatoes together with salt and the fresh lemonthyme leaves and tops. Serve with the salad and the warm buttersauce.