Recipe of the Month: Pan-roast sole with crab-crushed Jersey Royals
Love the idea of sole but not sure how to cook it? Don't treat it as a flat fish, says Mark Jordan, Executive Head Chef at the Michelin-starred Ocean Restaurant at The Atlantic Hotel. With this layering technique you'll end up with a firm, meaty slice of sole that's cooked like a steak and tastes delicious.
'Sole is one of my favourite fish to work with. This dish is also one of the most popular on our menu. Why? The flavours of this beautiful dish are heightened by the way it's presented - a layered stack of sole fillet on top of crab-crushed Jersey Royals with a caper and gherkin mix to add an extra kick of flavour. Cooking it this way also helps to retain the firmness of the fish and keep all the natural flavours inside.' Mark Jordan
Recipe: Pan-roast fillets of sole with crab-crushed Jersey Royals and Sauce Grenoble
3 x 450g Dover soles, skinned
100g baby capers
1 squeeze lemon juice
1 handful parsley, chopped
Crab-crushed Jersey Royals
450g Jersey Royals
Juice of 1 lemon
100g fresh white crab meat
Salt and pepper
1 handful chives, chopped
10-12 caper berries
Method - Dover sole:
Fillet the sole by running a sharp flexible knife down each side of the sole's backbone and slowly removing the flesh from the bone using delicate strokes of the knife. Flip over the sole and do the same again for the underside. Trim the sole, removing any straggly bits.
Lay one fillet of sole in front of you on a chopping board - you will notice there is a thick end and a thin end. Lay another fillet on top of the first fillet the opposite way, thick end to thin, and repeat this twice - there should be in total six pieces of fillet stacked in three pairs, one on top of the other.
While the sole is stacked, skewer two fillets together with cocktail sticks, using six in total. Trim the ends square and then cut in half. This will be your first two portions, now do the same with the remaining fillets. Place in the fridge to chill.
Chef's Tip: 'This is a great dinner party dish to prepare in advance. You can fillet, layer and skewer the sole in the morning, and leave the prepared steaks in the fridge covered with some cling film to chill until the evening.'
Chop the gherkins into small dice and mix with the capers. Add
the lemon juice and parsley and reserve.
Crab-crushed Jersey Royals:
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Wash and place the potatoes into a pan of salted water and slowly bring them up to the boil. Once the potatoes are cooked remove them from the water and store in the saucepan.
In a large sauté pan heat up a little oil, to this add the Dover sole stacks and gently colour until golden brown on one side.
Chef's Tip: 'Never salt a fish in the pan, it'll draw out the water and you'll end up with poached fish, rather than a nice firm fillet. Save the seasoning until the fish is cooked and you're ready to serve.'
Chef's Tip: Non-stick frying pan lost its non-stick? You don't have to get rid of it. 'Put oil in the pan with a square of baking parchment and it'll create a non-stick texture for your pan. Use it to fry your fish or meat, and then throw the baking paper away.'
Remove from the pan and place into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and place back in to the pan with the oil. Add a good knob of butter and squeeze of the lemon juice, baste the butter over the sole and leave for a minute.
Chef's Tip: 'At this stage, take the fish out of the pan and let it rest. Just like any piece of meat, it's full of proteins and needs to rest to become even more tender.'
Using a fork crush the potatoes and add the remaining butter, remaining lemon juice, crab meat, salt and pepper, and chives.
Place a metal ring in the centre of each serving dish and half fill with the hot potatoes, pressing them down thoroughly. Remove the metal ring and gently place a portion of sole on top of the potato. At this point gently twist and pull out the cocktail sticks.
Heat up the sauce and spoon some over the sole. Using a hand blender, foam the fish velouté and also spoon some over the dish. Garnish with a few caper berries, the croutons and cress, and serve.
This recipe also appears in Ocean Voyage, The Atlantic Hotel and Mark Jordan's cookbook, £30. To order a copy, email email@example.com