Gourmet Food Source
Considered the poorer relation to lemon and Dover sole they are however, particularly good when very fresh.
A flat fish of the North Atlantic plaice is easily identifiable by the distinctive orange spots on its back. Most plaice are around 40 to 50 cm in length and are sold whole or in fillets. In Britain the best time for plaice is midsummer when it is not uncommon to find 2-3kg fish for sale.
Plaice is often sadly overlooked, there is an element of snobbishness that prevents too many restaurants from featuring it on their menus and in the North of England in particular seems forever condemned to the deep-fat fryer.
As good as sole goujons with tartare sauce are there are many other ways to enjoy plaice. Put any phobias about fish bones to one side and grill or bake one whole, it really requires little more than some good butter, a squeeze of lemon and fresh black pepper. Do not overcook at all costs; you will be far happier with a slightly undercooked plaice than a dry tasteless one I can assure you.
If, however fillets are more to your liking then look no further than France for recipe inspiration, their repertoire of filleted delicacies borders on the extreme. When buying plaice always look for the freshest ones possible. This may seem obvious but plaice does not keep as well as sole losing its taste and becoming watery and dull.
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Content and picture © Miles Collins