Poached dover sole, mussels, cucumber & chives

by Hayden Groves

Delicate white fish in a thick, creamy sauce


⅓ cucumber
1 large dover sole
250g mussels
1 shallot, thinly sliced
200ml dry white wine
1 tbsp soft butter
200ml fish or white chicken stock
125ml double cream
½ lemon, juice only
2tsp chives, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Peel the cucumber, cut in half length ways, deseed and slice into half-moons 5mm thick. Place on a plate and freeze for 15 mins—this helps remove some excess water.

Carefully fillet and skin the sole, fold the fillets in half, reserve in the fridge (you can use the fish waste and bones to make the fish stock).

Wash and de-beard the mussels. Heat a saucepan (with a lid) and when hot, add the mussels, sliced shallot and half the wine. Place on the lid and cook until the mussels open. Drain through a colander, reserving the liquor. Pick the mussels from the shells, discarding any that didn’t open.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter (just big enough to hold the folded fillets) add the sole fillets, reserved strained mussel liquor, remaining wine and the stock, then season with a little salt and pepper.

Cover tightly with kitchen foil and bake for 8-10 mins, until the flesh is opaque and only just cooked through. Towards the end of the cooking time, heat a wide saucepan and when hot, carefully pour off the majority of the sole cooking liquor into the pan—take care as it will start to reduce immediately.

Boil the liquid rapidly to further reduce until a quarter remains, whisk in the double cream and reduce to a thick sauce consistency. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper, add the cucumber, mussels and chives and warm through.

Divide the four sole fillet rolls between 2 warm plates and spoon over the cream sauce to finish. Serve with some steamed new potatoes and vegetables of your choice.

Recipe: Hayden Groves