Goujons of Dover Sole, with Minted Peas and Tartare Sauce
This is so delicious, light and crispy that it will convert even a fish-refuser, but Dover Sole isn’t cheap, so feel free to substitute another delicate white fish, such as lemon sole. One reason Dover Sole is expensive is that it doesn’t have that fishy background some people don’t like, so it can be worth it as a treat, and used in a recipe like this one that makes a medium fish go a long way.
Home-made tartare sauce beats the bottled stuff hands down, do give it a go, it isn’t at all difficult and might even reduce the kids’ tomato ketchup consumption slightly! If you don’t like capers generally, leave them out, but you don’t taste them strongly in the sauce, so be brave and try. Some recipes give garlic in the tartare sauce – I think this would overwhelm the delicate fish so I prefer it without, but try it if you think it would suit your more robust tastes.
Minted peas are a joy. I’m a fan of frozen peas anyway but jazz them up with some shallots, mint and a bit of a change of texture, and you have something that makes the family go “yum, I’ll have more of these please.”
Serves 4 Timings: 30 minutes
Using scissors, cut each fillet into three pieces and then cut thin strips lengthways. Dip each strip into the seasoned flour, then into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs. Put them on a baking tray to firm up while you make the sauce and peas.
For the sauce: combine all the ingredients. Check the seasoning, adjust as needed – you might need a bit more lemon juice or a little more mayonnaise depending on the sharpness of the pickled gherkins and capers you are using.
For the peas: fry the shallots very gently in a little butter for a few minutes, until transparent - don’t brown them. Add half the peas and mash them in the pan with a fork, breaking up the texture but not making them into a puree. Add the other half of the peas and the teaspoonful of mint sauce, the fresh mint, and warm through over a low heat while you cook the fish.
In a deep fryer or large flat frying pan, heat the oil. The goujons are so slender that you can probably fit the whole fish into one large frying pan in one layer, this is your aim. Fry the goujons in bubbling oil for about 2 minutes, turn over and fry the other side. When nicely browned, remove from the pan and drain on kitchen towel.
Serve with the peas, the sauce, a slice of lemon and possibly some good chips or fried potatoes.
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