Early Spring is generally not a great time for fish, not only is it still cold and the seas can be rough making it harder for the fishermen to get out there, but also fish start to spawn and they tend not to swim in shoals so much, which makes catches smaller. But as April arrives with the promise of warmer weather we can look forward to a wider variety of fish to choose from. Plaice is just coming into season. It’s a versatile meaty flat fish and tends to be quite small, they are identified by their orange spots. These fish are best cooked whole to keep the moisture and flavour. In the recipe I only suggest a red apple as it looks pretty! And if you like apples then use more, Plaice is naturally sweet and the apples complement the flavour.
4 plaice skinned but left on the bone
A little plain flour
1 crisp red apple, cut into quarters, cored and each piece cut into four
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon cut into small “lardons”
Tblsp vegetable oil
60 g butter
Tblsp chopped parsley
Juice of half a lemon
Recipe by Christopher Trotter.
Food photography by Caroline Trotter.