Turbot has been called fish royalty, the king of fish.
What more could you ask for? Adding a beurre blanc sauce maybe – perfection on a plate.
This classic french dish is made with turbot, (it has gleaming flesh that retains its bright-white appearance when cooked and the firm meat has a large flake and an excellent mild flavor), but you can use nice pieces of flounder, halibut, or at a push, cod instead if you cannot find turbot.
- 2 fillets of turbot
- handful spinach
- 1/2 cup garden peas
- about 6 baby potatoes
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 50 g shallots, very finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons white wine or champagne vinegar
- 4 tablespoons dry white wine or vermouth, such as Noilly Prat
- 6 tablespoons water or fish stock
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 175 g chilled butter (in small cubes)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- First prepare the crushed potatoes. Scrub the potatoes, put them in a saucepan of cold water, add a good bit of salt, cover and bring to the boil. Leave to boil for 15 minutes and then drain. Crush the potatoes with the underside of a fork until the skin splits and you are left with an assortment of different sized pieces. Dress the potatoes with the olive oil, the freshly squeezed lemon juice and parsley. Keep warm.
- To make the beurre blanc, put the shallots, vinegar, vermouth, water or stock in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced to about 4 tablespoons.
- Add the cream and boil until reduced a little more.
- Lower the heat and gradually whisk in the butter, a few cubes at a time, until the sauce is thick and creamy.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- To prepare the spinach and peas, place the spinach in a small frying pan with a little butter and allow the heat to wilt the spinach. Season with salt and pepper. The peas can be cooked in the same way.
- Season the turbot fillets with salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the fillets flesh side down and fry for two minutes. Using a spatula, carefully flip over the fillets and fry with the skin side down for one minute.
- Turn the fillets one more time onto the flesh side and add a knob of butter to give the fillets a beautiful golden colour.
- Just before turning off the heat, squeeze the juice of half a lemon onto the fillets.
- To serve, carefully pile the crushed potatoes using a chef’s ring in the middle of a warmed plate. Place a layer of the wilted spinach on the potatoes and then the turbot with the golden flesh side up. Scatter some peas around the potato, spinach and turbot tower. Drizzle the champagne beurre blanc on the fish and around the tower.