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Plaice in Cream

Top-quality fish abounds off the East Anglian coast and plaice often features in the catch. It is aflat white fish with a delicate flavour. The skin on one side is brownish, with orange spots, and on the other is pearly white. Plaice is best enjoyed in a simple recipe.

ingredients

serves 4
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
1 small onion, skinned and finely chopped
150 ml (5 fl oz) fresh double cream
150 ml (1/4 pint) fish or vegetable stock
blade of mace
salt and pepper
8 single plaice fillets, eachweighing 75 g (3 oz), skinned
fresh parsley sprigs and lemon twists, to garnish

method

1. Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

2. Stir in the cream and stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, add the mace and season lightly to taste. Gently add the fish to the pan, loosely folded in half. Spoon the cream over the fish. Cover and poach gently for about 5 minutes, until the fish is tender and just flakes.

3. Carefully transfer the fish to a warmed plate, using a fish slice, cover and keep warm. Boil the cooking liquor until slightly thickened.

4. Spoon the sauce over 4 warmed plates, discarding the mace. Arrange the fish on top and garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon twists.

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