Thursday, 24 March 2011
Plaice stuffed with smoked salmon, horseradish and dill
I was dead set on buying some artic char from the fishmonger for dinner. But when I saw that plaice (or rödspätta in Swedish) was a quarter of the price the decision to spend £2.50 rather than a tenner was an easy one to make.
So out went my idea of gorging on artic char with a horseradish crust and instead I was left with a large flatfish and a desire to do something more interesting than just smother it in butter and bake it with white wine and dill. My search for interesting Swedish plaice recipes yielded a handful of recipes couldn’t have been more dull, so I turned instead to an idea that I spotted on Jamie Oliver’s website. He suggests stuffing flat fish with prawns, parsley, lemon and onions. I didn’t fancy the recipe, but I loved the technique. So I switched things around and stuffed my plaice with a Swedish combination of smoked salmon, freshly grated horseradish and dill – all mixed together with plenty of butter, pepper and lemon zest. It’s cheap, super tasty and looks rather fancy for plain old plaice.
1 good sized plaice
100g of chopped up smoked salmon (trimmings are fine)
An inch of horseradish, grated
2 sprigs of dill
Glass of white wine
Salt and pepper
With a very sharp knife slice the plaice along the central bone from just below the head to the tail on the upper side. Carefully slice along the bone so that the fillets flab backwards to reveal a cavity. If this seems complicated watch this.
Mix the butter, horseradish, smoked salmon, dill, pepper, salt and lemon zest. Form it into a ball and stuff it into the cavity. Lay the fish in an oiled baking dish and pour in a slug of white wine. Season with salt and pepper and scatter in a few cloves of garlic and wedges of lemon. Cook in a very hot oven for 4 minutes and then baste the fish with the juices. Cook for a further 4 minutes and then, if done, serve as it is or with some plain boiled potatoes and guzzle a nice glass of Grüner or Sauvignon Blanc.
The horseradish, smoked salmon and dill proved to be a punch stuffing which really livened the plaice up. Having tried it once, it’s a technique I’m keen to repeat with some other innovative stuffings. I imagine chipotle butter might be fun.