Slip soles are small Dover soles. We remove the skin and the heads at the restaurant but you might prefer to ask your fishmonger to do this, as it can be tricky. Ask them to trim the sides for you with scissors. You will have more butter than you need for this dish but it freezes well (you can keep it for a few months). It’s great on other fish or on baked potatoes.
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cooking time: 5 minutes, plus resting
- 4 slip soles, prepared as above
For the smoked salt butter
- 250g unsalted butter, softened (I prefer cultured butter, if you can find it, as it has a pleasing sour taste that makes it ideal for this dish)
- 1 tsp smoked salt, such as Maldon, plus extra to finish
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- ½ tsp espelette pepper (piment d’Espelette)
- Make sure your butter is soft, but not melted, to ensure it makes an emulsion. Combine the butter with the smoked salt, paprika and espelette pepper until the flavours are well distributed. Shape into a log and wrap in greaseproof paper. Chill in the fridge until set hard.
- When you are ready to cook your slip sole, preheat the grill.
- Rub a teaspoon of the smoked salt butter over a baking sheet. Lay the slip soles on top, leaving a gap between each one to allow even cooking. Cut 15g discs from the butter and place two on each fish.
- Place the baking sheet under the grill and grill for about four to five minutes, taking the sheet out a couple of times to baste the melted butter over the fish.
- After about four minutes you should see signs of the edges of the sole starting to shrink back, and where the head was removed there should be signs of the fish just beginning to pull away from the bone. When this is clearly starting to happen, take the baking sheet out. Leave the soles to rest, on the tray, for another four minutes.
- They are now ready to serve. I give them a 10-second blast of heat from the overhead grill, and I like to give them a very light final seasoning with the smoked salt and baste them for a final time so that the fish shines.
- Serve the fish on a rectangular plate, if you can, with new potatoes and salad.