When I was young and lived in the Netherlands, my mother would sometimes serve us fried plaice. Apart from regular steamed mackerel, and rare moments with cooked eel, that is the only fish I can remember of my diet then.
Nowadays she has branched out to Tilapia and other exotic fish species that are available in the Netherlands, but then you could mainly buy herring, cod, plaice, flounder, mackerel, sardines and eel.
She would put the plaice in a batter of flour and milk and fry the fish in butter in a large skillet.
At my fishmonger’s in Saint-Germain-en-Laye there is a wide selection of fish, not the Tilapia but among the flat fish there is turbot, flounder, plaice, dab and sole. Often, however, the fish is small of size.
Last Sunday there were a few large and fresh plaice on the stall.
I had wanted to fry it in my mother’s fashion, but my large oval fish frying pan does not work on our vitro ceramic cooking top and in our current flat I am not allowed to use bottled gas as I did for two burners at the previous address.
Frying in butter is also rather fat while the fish meat is lean.
I decided to grill the fish wrapped in aluminium foil with some vegetables.
- One large plaice
- Two white onions
- One tomato heart of ox
- Two handfuls chopped flat parsley
- Pepper, salt
- Olive oil
- One lemon
- White vinegar
- Rock salt
- Two cloves of garlic
- Wash the plaice, cut off its head, take out the innards, trim the vins.
- A fresh plaice is slimy. Put it in the sink, cover with water, add three handfuls of rock salt and three cups of vinegar and rest for 20 minutes.
- After that, you can take the plaice out and dry with paper towels, the slime has gone.
- Heat up a grill.
- Wash and slice the tomato.
- Peel and slice the onions.
- Peel and crush the garlic.
- Wash and slice the lemon.
- Wash and chop the parsley.
- Make cross-wise incisions on the top (brown side) of the plaice.
- Take a large piece of aluminium foil and put the plaice on it with the white side down.
- Pour some olive oil over the top side, twist some pepper and add some salt.
- Add the tomatoes and onion, lemon slices, garlic and parsley.
- Wrap it in foil in a way that the juices do not risk to run out.
- Put the package on the grill, turn every 5 minutes for 25 minutes.
- Open the package and present.