26 May 2012

Pan Seared Mediterranean Plaice


We all have a recipe or two that we turn to when we don't feel like spending time planning what to cook, rushing to the shops looking for certain ingredients or measuring and hoping that it will come out good.  I have one fish recipe up my sleeve that has never failed me for the past ten years.  I have tried this with all kinds of fish, fresh or frozen, filleted or whole, but today I would like to share with you the best fish that goes with this recipe.  

I use white fish like branzino or spigola (seabass) and orata (gilt-head bream) but the one that goes perfectly well with it is platessa (plaice), which is very similar to sole.  


There's a lot of flexibility with this recipe like you can use fillets or whole, frozen or fresh.  I have used all of them.  I have also tasted the difference.  My least favorite is using fillets, even if they are fresh, frozen if I really don't have a choice anymore.  I guess with any fish dish, I prefer using the whole fish because the best flavors come from the parts of the fish that are thrown away when they are already filleted, like the head and the bone frame.

Plaice was the first kind of fish that my son's pediatrician told me to prepare when he was an infant.  It is what the pediatricians, fishmongers and even strangers (yes, we are in Italy!) unanimously agree on as the fish for kids because of the easiness to separate the meat from the fish bones.

  
In fact, when I bought these, the fishmonger commenced on a long speech about the platessa  being the best fish to give to the kids, with the back-up of his assistant and a couple of people waiting for their turns to get their fish.    People are naturally attracted to kids that when you go around with these little magnets, expect attention and little gifts from everyone. 

One morning with my daughter, was like coming home from a birthday party with a loot bag.  A cup of candies from the Sicilian shop, balloon from the paper shop and a slice of pizza from the supermarket's bread section.  


I use bottled grilled pepper only when I have them at home.  But if you can add them, please do, because it completes more the flavor.    Putting together the rest of the ingredients with the fish, you will not regret that you cooked this delicious, simple and very healthy dish.  Quantities of the ingredients can be adjusted.  I actually don't do precise measurements, just this time for this recipe. 

Please don't forget that I still have the giveaway of Bronte pistachios, almond paste brick and Sicilian dried oregano, going on until Sunday, the 3rd of June at 12 Midnight, Rome Time (GMT +2).  Please click on this LINK to go to the post with the instructions.  Thank you!



Pan Seared Mediterranean Plaice

Ingredients:
Serves 2 - 4

  • 4 sole fish, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, round slices
  • 1/2 cup grilled capsicum (I used the bottled ones.), coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers, soaked in water, drained and water squeezed out
  • 12 pcs. green olives, round slices
  • parsley, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + extra for drizzling before serving
  • salt & pepper

  1. Season fish with salt & pepper.
  2. Pour oil in a large saucepan.  When it's warm, put the fish, skin side down.  Cook for about 6 - 8 minutes on medium - high flame. 
  3. Turn the fish to cook the other side.  Put down the flame to medium.  
  4. Distribute capsicum, tomatoes, olives and capers on the fish.  Cook for another 3 minutes.  
  5. Pour wine on the fish.  Let the alcohol evaporate and the sauce to thicken but don't let it dry up.  Adjust salt.
  6. Sprinkle with parsley.  Turn off fire.
  7. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before serving.  



16 comments:

  1. This looks delicious and light! I buy a sweet white fish from the fishmonger at our Farmers' Market and it would go perfectly in this recipe. I did have to "google" grilled capsicum though. I think we would call it "roasted peppers." I have never been brave enough to try a whole fish except for fresh trout. You make me want to try. :-)

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    1. Grilled capsicum is roasted peppers. Get a good one. I tried some before I arrived to a good brand that I finally liked. I hope you find sole fish which is very similar to plaice. Thanks Patricia!

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  2. What a simple and beautiful dish! I love roasted peppers and always keep them in the pantry to use in pastas, on pizza, etc. So versatile and delicious!

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    1. Me too Laura, roasted peppers are one of my necessities in my cupboard. I used to roast them in the oven if I need some but they take too long until I found the perfect brand that's delicious.

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  3. Love it! I make simillar kind of dish often, but I do it en papillote. It's juicy, the fish is so tender!
    I know few people, that would love the idea of adding grilled capsicum to this dish, which I normally don't do.

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    1. Papilotte really traps the flavors and moisture inside. A French friend taught me that with chicken. It came out so juicy and tasty!

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  4. This sounds like something I could sit and wouldn't get up until i finish! Love the recipe and photos are really mouthwatering!

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    1. I actually eat two in one sitting and could go for a third one easily. This is one of those recipes that my whole family eats. Thanks Sandra!

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  5. I love these strong flavors with fish---and your photos are stunning!

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  6. Just came back to this post to tell you did prepare this fish...I found wonderful white fish fillets and it was delicious!!

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    1. I'm so glad it came out well Patricia! Thank you for telling me! I appreciate it!

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  7. I found your blog through pinterest and I cannot wait to try your recipes!!! This one is dinner tonight!

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    1. I hope you enjoy the recipe! Thanks!

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  8. Mmmm .. looks amaze! I love fish because it's so versatile. So many possibilities!

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