Friday, May 4, 2012

May Plaice with Almonds - Maischolle mit Mandeln


At this time of year,  in addition to the regular plaice, you can often find the so-called "May Plaice" (Maischolle) at the fishmonger. As its name implies, the May plaice is only available for four weeks in May and fish lovers appreciate the fine taste of this young fish (fishing grounds are the North Atlantic and the North Sea).
Im schönen Monat Mai kaufe ich gerne mal Maischolle beim Fischhändler meines Vertrauens. Die Maischolle ist keine eigene Schollengattung, sondern die junge Scholle, die, wie der Name schon andeutet, im Mai im Nordatlantik oder in der Nordsee gefangen wird. Eine Maischolle misst etwa 35 bis 45 cm und hat besonders zartes Fleisch.




This recipe showcases the wonderful fish and at the same time combines the elements of two classic dishes. On one hand there is the use of the browned butter, an element from the traditional “sole meunière”, in which the fish, often whole, is sautéed in browned butter. On the other hand, there is the use of almonds, an element from the “sole amandine”, in which the fish is finished with sautéed sliced almonds. For this recipe, the May Plaice with Almonds, you lightly coat the fish fillets with ground almonds, sauté them in browned butter, and serve them with sliced toasted almonds, freshly chopped Italian parsley and some lemon juice to brighten the flavor of the fish..

Please note that the following recipe is meant to serve two, as I usually serve two fillets per person. But of course the recipe can be multiplied. If you have to prepare the fillets in batches, though, it is best to lightly cover the sautéed fillets and keep them in a pre-heated oven (at 150 degrees Celsius) while you fry the remaining fish, using a little extra butter for each subsequent batch. Although you could make the nut mixture earlier in the day or even the day before, the fillets should really be enjoyed as soon as they are cooked. It is also useful to ask your fishmonger to fillet the fish for you - each fillet weighs about 200 grams - all you will have to do then is to prepare this lovely recipe.
Das heutige Rezept lässt diesen wunderbaren Fisch richtig gut zur Geltung kommen und ist eine, wie ich finde, gelungene Kombination von Elementen zweier klassischer Gerichte. Einerseits kennt man ja die Verwendung von brauner Butter, aus der Zubereitung der traditionellen "sole meunière" (Seezunge Müllerinart) in dem der Fisch, gerne auch im Ganzen, in brauner Butter angebraten wird. Anderseits werden ja auch im Rezept für "sole amandine", Mandelblättchen in Butter gebräunt und an den fertigen Fisch gegeben. Für die Maischolle mit Mandeln werden die delikaten Fischfilets mit gemahlenen Mandeln paniert, dann in brauner Butter angebraten und dann mit gerösteten Mandeln und frisch gehackter großblättriger Petersilie und Zitrone angerichtet.

Das folgende Rezept für zwei Personen berechnet. In der Regel serviere ich zwei Filets pro Person. Aber natürlich kann man das Rezept beliebig verdoppeln. Falls man mehr als zwei Portionen zubereiten möchte, ist es ratsam, den jeweils fertigen Fisch im vorgeheizten Ofen bei 150 Grad Celsius, leicht abgedeckt, warmzuhalten. Für jede weitere Portion Fisch muss immer wieder ein wenig neue Butter verwendet werden. Möchten Sie die Maischolle als Filets zubereiten, bitten Sie den Händler, die Maischolle auszulösen. Die ungefähr 200 Gramm schweren Filets muss man dann nur noch zubereiten. Obwohl man die Nuss-Mischung für die Panade auch am Vortag zubereiten kann, sollte die Filets wirklich frisch genossen werden, sobald sie gar sind.




May Plaice with Almonds
(serves two)

Ingredients for the Fish
  • 50 grams natural almonds, ground
  • 1 tbsp AP (plain) flour
  • grated zest of 1/2 organic lemon, plus some of the juice
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 plaice fillets (2 per person)
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
  • about 2 tbsp cold butter
Ingredients for the Garnish
  • sliced almonds, toasted
  • Italian parsley, chopped
  • lemon wedges (organic, please)
Preparation of the Fish
  1. Whisk the ground almonds, flour, and zest together and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pat the fish fillets dry. Set up the fish, the egg yolk, and the ground almonds assembly line fashion.
  3. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat one side of each fillet with a little of the beaten egg yolk (coat the side that previously had skin.) Dip the coated side of each fillet into the nut mixture.
  4. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and a small pinch of salt, if your butter isn’t salted, and cook the butter until it turns light brown, about 3 minutes. Slip the fillets into the skillet, nut side down, without crowding the skillet. Reduce the heat and cook until the coating is golden and the fish is cooked halfway through, 3 minutes or so. Season the exposed side of each fillet with salt and pepper, add another 1/2 tablespoon cold butter to the pan, and very gently turn the fillets. Cook, spooning some of the browned butter over the fillets once or twice, until the fish is opaque throughout, about 2 minutes more. If it looks like the pan is dry, add a little more butter.
  5. Give each flounder fillet a squirt of lemon juice, then scatter over some toasted almonds and parsley. Serve with more lemon wedges and enjoy.
Maischolle mit Mandeln
(für zwei Portionen)

Zutaten für den Fisch
  • 50 Gramm Mandeln, gemahlen
  • 1 EL Mehl
  • geriebene Schale von 1/2 Bio-Zitrone, sowie den Saft
  • etwas feines Meersalz
  • frisch gemahlener schwarzer Pfeffer
  • 4 Maischollenfilets (2 pro Person) 
  • 1 Eigelb (L), mit einer Gabel verquirlt
  • zirka 2 EL kalte Butter 
Zutaten für die Mandeln
  • Mandelblättchen, leicht geröstet
  • großblättrige Petersilie, gehackt
  • Zitronenspalten (von Bio-Zitronen)
Zubereitung der Maischolle
  1. Gemahlene Mandeln, Mehl und abgeriebene Zitronenschale mischen. Salzen und pfeffern.
  2. Fischfilets abspülen, trockentupfen und leicht salzen. Den Fisch, das verquirlte Eigelb und die Mandelpanade nebeneinander stellen.
  3. Mit einem Pinsel jeweils eine Seite der Filets bestreichen – am besten die Seite, auf der die dunkle Haut war. Mit dieser Seite dann in die Mandelpanade legen und andrücken.
  4. Eine beschichtete Pfanne erhitzen. Einen EL Butter und ein wenig Salz in die Pfanne geben und auf mittlerer Hitze kochen, bis die Butter eine leicht braune Farbe angenommen hat. Das dauert ungefähr drei Minuten. Fisch darin auf der panierten Seite anbraten. Die Filets dabei nicht zu dicht beieinander in der Pfanne braten. Die Filets brauchen ungefähr drei Minuten. Die unpanierte Seite salzen und pfeffern und dann ½ EL kalte Butter dazu geben und dann ganz vorsichtig wenden. Während der Fisch brät, ein oder zweimal die braune Butter über den Fisch träufeln und die Filets so lange braten bis sie gar sind, das dauert zirka weitere zwei Minuten.
  5. Je zwei Fischfilets auf einen Teller geben, über jedes Filet etwas Zitronensaft träufeln, mit den gerösteten Mandelblättchen und der Petersilie garnieren. Zitronenspalten dazu reichen und möglichst sofort servieren.



The plaice is good with simple sides, like boiled potatoes, preferably small new potatoes (tossed in butter, lemon juice and some of the chopped fresh parsley), oven-roasted spring carrots, or steamed spinach.

You can also serve a Grilled Asparagus Salad on the side.
Einfache Beilagen wie zum Beispiel Salzkartoffeln, oder kleine neue Kartoffeln, die in Butter, frisch gepresstem Zitronensaft und gehackter Petersilie geschwenkt wurden, oder Frühlings-Möhren und gedünsteter Spinat, passen vorzüglich zu Maischolle.
 
Aber auch ein Gegrillter Spargelsalat schmeckt wunderbar als Beilage zu der Maischolle.




Grilled Asparagus Salad

Ingredients 
  • 6 stalks white asparagus, tough ends trimmed, peeled, cooked and cooled
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • some sea salt
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus some for grilling the asparagus
  • Italian parsley, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinced
  • 2 tbsp bacon, cubed and fried
Preparation
  1. Cut the asparagus in half lengthwise and place the halved stalks in a heated and lightly oiled grill pan. Grill for a few minutes. Cool slightly.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the pepper, salt, vinegar, and oil. Add the parsley, capers and bacon. Mix.
  3. Place the grilled asparagus on a platter, add the vinaigrette, and seson some more with salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside the May plaice.
Gegrillter Spargelsalat mit Bacon und Kapern

Zutaten
  • 6 Stangen weißer Spargel, geschält, holzige Enden entfernt, bissfest vorgegart und etwas abgekühlt
  • frisch gemahlener schwarzer Pfeffer
  • etwas feines Meersalz
  • 1 EL Weißweinessig
  • 3 EL Olivenöl, plus etwas für die Grillpfanne
  • großblättrige Petersilie, verlesen, gewaschen, getrocknet, abgezupft und gehackt
  • 1 EL Kapern, abgetropft 
  • 2 EL Bacon, klein gewürfelt und gebraten
Zubereitung
  1. Die Spargelstangen quer halbieren. Eine Grillpfanne erhitzen, ein wenig Olivenöl hinzugeben und die halbierten Stangen für wenige Minuten anbraten. Leicht abkühlen lassen.
  2. In einer Schüssel Pfeffer, Salz, Essig und Öl mischen. Petersilie, Kapern und Bacon zu der Salatsauce hinzufügen und vermischen.
  3. Den gegrillten Spargel auf einer Platte anrichten, mit der Salatsauce beträufeln, nach Belieben nochmals mit Salz und Pfeffer würzen und zur Maischolle servieren.



This fish recipe tastes wonderful with the May plaice but you could substitute regular plaice, sole or even flounder. No matter which flatfish you decide to buy, when you prepare your fish with that wonderful nutty brown butter and the sweet almonds, it will always taste delicious and look elegant - just perfect for serving in springtime.
Dieses Fischrezept schmeckt wunderbar mit der Maischolle aber man kann auch Scholle, Stein- und Heilbutt, Flunder oder Seezunge verwenden. Egal für welchen der wunderbaren Plattfische man sich entscheidet, in brauner Butter gegart und mit Mandeln paniert und garniert, wird das Fisch immer köstlich schmecken. So ein Gericht zusammen mit frischem Frühlingsgemüse serviert passt großartig zum Frühling.





30 comments:

  1. Oh, your daughter is precious...and I cracked up at her answer...too funny! Plus your fish looks magnificent...wasn't this a great Dorie week?

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    1. It certainly was a great Dorie week - we loved the fish.

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  2. Kids´ answers are great... and the fact that you fillet the fish yourself! Wow

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    1. Challenges are often a great way to learn and to fillet those plaices was undoubtably one of those challenges...

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  3. I have found that if you have a good relationship with your fish guy, it is best to listen to him. I didn't find flounder either, to be honest, I'm not sure I know what flounder is in German? I bought zanderfilet and it was delicious.

    Congrats on your newest little schoolgirl. She's very cute!

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    1. Well, "flounder" is simply "Flunder" but it is true, it is extremly hard to find around here.

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  4. The photo of your beautiful daughter is so precious! It is sad to see your last one go off to school…I still remember my last one going off to school!
    I have never heard of Plaice…I am sure any light fish would do well with this recipe! I am most impressed that you filleted the fish yourself. Great job…it looks delicious!

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    1. Thank you for all the compliments - "plaice" really is almost the same as "flounder" but difficult to find around here and I agree, this recipe will probably work with a whole range of different kinds of light fish.

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  5. I guess Kleenex is the solution to shopping alone - very funny! The fish looks gorgeous, and I am very impressed that you did your own fillet.

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    1. That Kleenex box is empty...but cooking/baking helps to keep my mind off the "tristesse" part this week.

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  6. Oh, what a precious princess you daughter is! :) You tugged at my heart strings with your story of her first day going to school.

    I happen to love plaice and I am so glad that someone used that fish for this recipe. So impressive that you filleted it yourself! It looks so succulent and tasty.

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    1. I am impressed that you know plaice - I had never bought it before but was totally impressed with the way it tasted, wonderful fish and wonderful recipe.

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  7. Your princess is so cute, Andrea! I think the fishmonger steered you in the right direction. The freshest choice is in the spirit Dorie intends. And, it looks like you even have a special fish plate for this dish. Have a great weekend!

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    1. I am glad that I did trust the fishmonger - we loved the recipe and the dish would be great to serve to friends - have to get more of that plaice while it is still available and now that I know how to fillet it.

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  8. LOL! Your youngest looks like Rapunzel! :) How great that she is so independent already!! But sad for the loss of your shopping buddy.... :( Your fish looks great! Would they have filleted it for you if you had asked?

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    1. Well, thank you and I should tell you that your daughter Mei is such a cutie-pie, I do hope that she is feeling better after her fall this week!

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  9. Awwww. I can barely remember my daughter's first day of school & now she's graduating from high school in just a few short weeks. I may need lots of Kleenex when I send her off to college in the fall :-(
    Lovely fish - it is funny how your fishmonger persuaded you :-)

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    1. Times flies...I do not know where the last couple of years have gone...but still, it is terrific when kids are succeeding in life and move on to the next challenge - I already wish the best of luck to your daughter for her high school graduation.

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  10. Your meal looks absolutely stunning! I've never tried filleting a fish before. Is it difficult to get to the fillets because plaice is a flatfish? It's so interesting reading everyone's posts - I'm learning so much that I never knew before.

    Your youngest daughter is lovely. The children grow up too fast, it seems.

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    1. After one gets over the initial shock, it is not that hard to fillet the fish and in the end, it was just fun.

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  11. We used an alternate fish, too. Your photos are beautiful and you meal sounds delicious!

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    1. Flounder just is not available at the fish store here but since plaice is also a flatfish and very similar, Dorie´s recipe worked out very well with this fish.

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  12. Your fish looks good..crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. You are lucky to get the delicacy fish to make this dish :) Your little gal is so cute with her answer to your 'sadness' LOL! she is intelligent ! Have a nice day...Dorie's day is truly a wonderful day for me !

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    1. I agree entirely, "Dorie Fridays" are wonderful!

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  13. The fish looks really good and I am so impressed that you filleted the fish yourself. Of course, you daughter is adorable as well and seems so confident as well! That is just great!

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    1. They grow up so fast, it leaves me breathless sometimes...

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  14. How funny..if you're like me the kleenex was a good idea. Its hard letting the last chick out of the next! Your fish looks great and kudos for filleting it yourself!

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    1. Later that day, I did go to the store (alone) to get more Kleenex...but cooking or baking is always a good distraction when I really need one!

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  15. I am so impressed that you know how to filet a fish. I am too scared to try! Your dinner sounds excellent, and I love the picture of your daughter all ready for school.

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    1. Well, you know what they say...practice makes perfect...I got the hang of after a while and it was actually fun to learn something new.

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