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Turbot with sauce maltaise

  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) fish stock, preferably home-made
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 lemon slice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 4 turbot fillets, about 140 g (5 oz) each
  • 85 g (3 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp blood orange juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 125 g (4½ oz) tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely diced
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh tarragon sprigs to garnish
  • Place the stock, shallot, lemon slice, bay leaf and peppercorns in a pan wide enough to hold the fillets in a single layer. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse while you make the sauce.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Pour off the clear golden liquid into a small bowl, discarding the milky sediment, and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Put the orange juice, vinegar, peppercorns and 1 tbsp water in a small saucepan and boil for 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Transfer to the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. The base of the pan or bowl should not touch the water.
  • Whisk in the egg yolks and continue whisking for 4–5 minutes or until the mixture thickens and becomes pale. Gradually whisk in the melted butter, drop by drop. Continue whisking after all the butter has been incorporated, until the sauce is thick enough to hold a ribbon trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted – this will take 4–5 minutes.
  • If at any point the sauce begins to curdle, immediately remove it from the heat, add an ice cube and whisk briskly until it comes together again. Remove the ice cube, return to the heat and continue whisking in the butter.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and orange zest and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the saucepan or double boiler from the heat. Stir in the tomatoes, then cover and set aside while you poach the fish.
  • Remove the fillets with a fish slice, gently shaking off any excess liquid, and set on warmed plates. Spoon over the sauce, garnish with tarragon sprigs and serve.