Food Blog | Cooking Blog
There really isn't anything better than freshly caught, oily fish with a squeeze of lemon. Poach or fry it in a bed of garlic butter, sprinkle with parsley and a grind of black pepper, and you have earned yourself a foodgasm.
The key is the quality of the fish. For this recipe, I used medium dover soles bought from a beach side fishmonger in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. The fish had been caught that day - and whilst the buttery marinade was completely delicious - I cannot take credit for the melt in your mouth texture or the natural salt water taste.
Just serve the fish whole - the Mediterranean way. If it isn't overcooked, a good fish knife will slip the backbone out with all of its dendrites and you will be left with a beautiful, boneless and buttery fillet.
2 x Dover soles (or other fresh white fish)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
a large knob of salted butter
50 ml dry white wine
2 large garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 heaped tbsp. fresh parsley (chopped)
1 tsp. fresh oregano (chopped)
a sprig of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp. chopped red chilli (optional)
fresh black pepper and sea salt, to taste
1 lemon (cut into wedges) for serving
A clump of fresh samphire (about 200 g for 2 persons)
A small knob of salted butter
Preheat the oven to 200°C and pour the olive oil, lemon juice and white wine into a deep dish baking tray. Chop the garlic cloves into thin slices and toss them in before adding the fish. Gently turn each fish, ensuring that it is evenly coated in the different flavours.
Position the fish skin side up (this is very important to ensure a crispy finish) spaced away from one another in the tray. Use your fingers to rub the lemon zest into the skin and sprinkle the chopped herbs, and then tear the spring of fresh thyme over the tray to add a final herby dimension to the sauce. Add the finely chopped chilli if you want to add an extra kick, and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Fill any empty spaces with the lemon wedges and put under the grill for 20 minutes.
I prefer my fish on the softer side so that the fillets slip easily out from under the bone. If you prefer a tougher and more sturdy finish, cook for an extra 5 minutes.
Serve with fresh samphire fried for 4 minutes in a little butter, for the ultimate seaside lunch.
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