Dover sole fillets are layered with nori seaweed and scallops then rolled and sliced into two-inch thick pieces and fried in the pan in this sumptuous appetizer. The fried fish rolls are served on a bed of poached romaine hearts and seasoned with a lavish saffron shallot cream sauce. This also makes a light and satisfying meal for special occasions best paired with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Dover sole is a type of flatfish that is long with a small head and a body that is shaped like a slipper. It has light brown skin speckled skin and a creamy underside with a coarse texture similar to cat’s tongue. When cooked, the meat of Dover sole is meaty and firm but delicate and quite flavorful. The skin of the fish separates easily from the flesh and the meat falls easily from the bone. In this recipe, the Dover sole is filleted and rolled together with nori and scallops with the help of a Saran wrap. Inspired by Japanese cooking techniques, this is similar to a maki roll but without the rice.
For the best flavor and texture, use diver scallops for making this recipe, although you can still make this dish with regular scallops as long as they are fresh. A diver scallops is a sea scallop a scuba diver picked off a rock by hand. They are less gritty than scallops harvested off a boat since chain nets that touch the ocean bed drag along these scallops and get sand in the process. Diver scallops are ecologically sustainable and tend to be fresher although they are more expensive. The divers select mature scallops from places where there are strong water currents, so the scallops tend to be plump, firm, and have a nice color. Diver scallops are commonly available from November to April.
Wash and rinse the romaine hearts. Pat dry. Lay out a 6 inch piece of Saran wrap. Place the Dover sole filet flat on the saran wrap, season with salt and pepper. Lay the nori sheet on top of the fish filet. Arrange the scallops down the middle of the Sole filet.
Gently roll the filet over the scallops and tie the ends of the saran wrap. Wrap with aluminium foil and tighten the roll by twisting the foil at the ends in opposite directions. Slice through the foil and fish cylinder into 2 inch thick rolls.
In a frying pan heat up the olive oil and add a tsp of butter. Remove the foil and saran wrap from the outer edge of the fish roll and place face side down in the hot pan. Sear for one minute and flip. Place in the oven for seven minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the fish is cooking, in a separate frying pan heat up the fish stock and poach the romaine heart in it for the duration of the fish cooking time.
To make the saffron shallot cream sauce, heat up the canola oil in a small sauce pan. Add the shallots and sweat them until translucent. Add the peppercorns and deglaze with the white wine. Add the fish stock and the saffron. Reduce by two thirds. Add the cream and reduce by two thirds. The sauce should be thick so it does not run on the plate.
Remove the romaine heart from the poaching liquid and place in the centre of the plate. Arrange the sole rolls on top of the poached romaine heart. Add some deep-fried celery root as garnish. Drizzle sauce on plate with artistic flare.