Mitch Tonks recipes
Dover soles are one of the most sought after fish at the morning’s auction. It is always sold first and its price is usually determined by the foreign markets as there is huge demand in Spain, Holland and France, prime sole is about 450g. Meanwhile slipsoles weigh around 250g and when they are skinned and their fins and heads trimmed with scissors you are left with a small lozenge of wonderfully sweet fish that is easily eaten by cutting centrally down the back and just sliding the fillets off the bone – its just not considered prime, but try it!
Fishmonger Preparation –
Fish skinned on both sides with the head removed and the fins and tail trimmed completely
8 slip soles about 250 g / 9 oz each
2 beaten eggs
150 g / 5 oz flour
A couple of handfuls of really fine breadcrumbs
Enough vegetable oil for deep frying
For the tartare sauce
2 egg yolks
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Splash of white wine vinegar
300 ml / ½ pt vegetable oil
Squeeze of lemon
1 shallot very finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
2 gherkins finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped capers
Salt and pepper
Crisp fried slip soles with tartare sauce
First make the tartare sauce. Whisk together the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar and whilst whisking pour in the oil in a steady stream until you have a thick creamy mayonnaise. Taste and season and add a squeeze of lemon. Then stir in the shallot, tarragon, gherkins and capers. The sauce should be quite piquant and chunky and have the consistency of very thick double cream.
Prepare the soles for deep frying by having in front of you a bowl of the egg yolks, a plate for the flour and a plate for the breadcrumbs. First dip the fish in flour making sure it is well coated, then into egg and lastly in breadcrumbs making sure the fish have a nice even coating. Heat you oil to about 180c and gently place the fish into the oil 2 at a time. If you try to do too many at once the temperature of the oil will fall and your fish will not be crisp. After 4-5 minutes the fish should be a lovely golden colour, remove and drain on kitchen paper.
When all the fish are cooked place 2 fish side by side on each plate, place a tablespoon of tartare sauce by the side, put a wedge of lemon on each plate as fish cooked in this way is delicious with lemon juice.
I would eat nothing more than a salad of the season with this magnificent dish.