Hot soused Dover sole with mushroom and seaweed dressing
I like to cook Dover sole on the bone, so the fillets keep their natural shape. If you fillet the fish first, the fillets tend to shrink quite a lot during cooking. Sousing Dover sole is unusual, but I find the acidity is welcome and it adds more depth of flavour. The mushrooms and seaweed marry well with the vinegar and wine, but nothing outshines the star of the show, the Dover sole.
Serves 4 as a main course
4 Dover sole, about 500g each, skinned and heads removed
100ml olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
300g mixed mushrooms, cleaned
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
100ml sherry vinegar
100ml white wine
2 tbsp dried seaweed flakes
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 185°C/Gas 6. Heat a large frying pan and add a drizzle of olive oil. When hot, add the red onions and cook for 3–4 minutes until they start to soften. Scatter the onions in a roasting tray big enough to hold the fish (or use 2 or 4 smaller trays).
Wipe out the frying pan and heat again. When hot, add another drizzle of oil. Toss in the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add to the onions in the tray(s).
Wipe out the frying pan again. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper. Heat the pan and add a drizzle of olive oil. When hot, add the Dover soles and fry for 2 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Mix the sherry vinegar and wine together and add to the pan to de-glaze. Remove from the heat and add the seaweed and any remaining olive oil.
Transfer the fish to the tray(s), spooning some of the mushrooms and onions on top of them, then pour over the juices from the frying pan. Bake for 8–10 minutes until cooked.
Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the cooked fish, then carefully transfer to warmed plates. Spoon the mushrooms, onions and juices over the fish. I like to serve this simply with boiled new potatoes and seasonal green vegetables.
Nathan Outlaw’s Everyday Seafood by Nathan Outlaw (Quadrille, £20) Photography © David Loftus