WHOLE LEMON SOLE, BACON VINAIGRETTE, CHARRED SWEETCORN & COURGETTE, TARRAGON

Recipe HAYES COMMON | Images ASHLEE DECAIRES

For 2 people

2 flat fish (we use lemon sole but flounder is also a very good option)
1 courgette
2 sweetcorn
2 shallots
bunch of tarragon
salt
1 lemon
1 tbsp butter


Bacon vinaigrette

250g bacon
80ml cab sav vinegar (can be subbed with red wine)
20ml olive oil

Get a pot of water boiling and season the water so it tastes like ocean water. Boil your corn for 8 minutes then set aside to cool.

Cut bacon into small pieces and cook off lightly in a pan (you don’t want any colour).

Add cooked bacon, vinegar and olive oil to a good processor and blend until very smooth.

Cut your shallots and courgette into 3mm rounds.

Finely chop your tarragon.

Cut your lemon into wedges.

Cut the corn off the cob.

If you got your flat fish whole, you will need to remove the gills and guts. This can be done by placing the fish belly down (so the eyes are facing you) with its head pointing to your left. Cut a small incision just behind the pectoral fin following the gills. Stick your finger into its belly and pull everything out. If there is any orange roe, keep it. Next, put your finger around the gills and with some scissors cut them out whilst pulling with your finger. The guts and gills make awesome fertiliser or berley so you can freeze them down for next time you go out fishing. If you chose lemon sole you will need to remove the scales (flounder don’t have any). This can be done with a very sharp knife and cutting them off (google Japanese method for removing fish scales) or scraping them off with a spoon.

Cut any roe you collected into 1cm pieces.

Get 2 large pans very hot and add cooking oil. Once the oil starts shimmering add your flat fish belly down and cook for 34 minutes or until golden brown. Add your butter and move the pan around a bit so the butter starts foaming and gets all over the belly of the fish. This should take about 30 seconds. Now flip your fish with a large spatula and turn the heat down to low. Leave in pans to cook for a further 12 minutes.

To check the fish is cooked, pull some meat off the bone with a spoon. If it flakes away easily it’s done. Remove fish from the pans and put onto your plates.

Turn heat back onto high for one of the same pans and throw in your shallots and roe if you collected any earlier, cook for 2 minutes or until shallots are soft. Then add 2 heaped tablespoons of bacon vinaigrette and cook for 30 seconds. Then add your corn and courgettes and cook for a further 2 minutes, regularly moving the veg around until the courgette just starts to soften. Take off the heat and add in your tarragon and season with a little bit of salt. Spoon the veg mix over your fish and serve with a couple of lemon wedges.

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