Dover Sole with Mussel Sauce

Dover sole has to be one of the most sophisticated flavoured fish. It has a light mouthwatering texture but firm flesh that doesn't fall apart. Just like Dover Sole, this is a very special dish best left to special occasions or just as a treat.

Portions: 2 Portions

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Mussels and Sauce

  • 200g mussels (rinse, scrubbed and debearded), any mussels that remain open after giving a sharp tap should be discarded
  • 200ml white wine
  • 300ml fish or chicken stock
  • 150ml double cream
  • 3 garlic clove, crushed
  • maldon salt

Dover Soile

  • 2 x 500g Dover sole, skinned and trimmed (see below)
  • 100g clarified butter (see below)
  • 100g plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper

To Serve

  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1bunch of asparagus trimmed, cut into 3 and steamed for 2-3 minutes until just cooked
  • 1 plum tomato, seeds removed and finely diced
  • Cooked Linguine or Fine Egg Noodles

Method

  1. Mussels: Bring 150ml of water to the boil in a saucepan. Place the mussels in the saucepan and cover with a lid. Cook for 3-5 minutes until all the mussels have opened (any mussels that don't open discard). Strain the mussels from cooking liquid (reserve the mussel stock). Place the cooked mussels in a bowl and allow to cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Sauce: Pour the mussel and fish stock in a saucepan and stir in the garlic. Place the pan over a moderate high heat and bring the stocks to a strong simmer and leave to reduce for 10-15 minutes or until it has reduced by 2/3's. Stir in the double cream and allow to reduce until you have a sauce that will coat the back of a wooden spoon (reduce to about 1/2). Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. Preparation: Heat a grill to high. Coat the Dover soles in the seasoned flour and brush both sides with the clarified butter.
  4. To Cook: Place the sole under the preheated grill and cook 2-3 minutes (dependent on size) then turn them over and leave to cook for a further 2-3, until they are golden brown.
  5. To Finish The Sauce: Return the sauce to a high heat, bring to the boil and stir in the mussels. Simmer for a couple of minutes so that the mussels are heated through.
  6. To Serve: Place a serving of pasta or noodles on each plate. Stir the asparagus and diced tomatoes into the hot sauce. Pour the sauce over the Dover Sole, scatter over a little parsley. Serve.
  • Skinning Dover Sole: Lay the fish on a chopping board with the dark skin facing upwards. Make a small slice the skin horizontally across the middle of the tail. Scrape the skin upwards so that you have a small flap of skin that you can grasp with your fingers. Hold the tail with your left hand (right if left handed), get a strong grasp of the skin with your other hand and pull it off towards the head. This should remove the skin, if it tears get your fingers under the skin to create another flap and pull off the remaining skin. Use kitchen scissors to cut away the frill from around the fish.
  • Clarified Butter: This is butter that has had the milk solids removed, it can be heated to a high heat without burning. To clarify butter place butter into a heavy based saucepan over a low heat. When melted skim the froth off the surface so that you have a clear yellow surface with a milker layer underneath. Carefully pour the clear yellow layer into a container and discard the milky layer. Clarified butter will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.