A white-fleshed sea fish found in European waters, John Dory (also known as St Peter's fish), is an odd-looking creature with an oval, flat body and a large, spiny head. The white, boneless, meaty flesh is firm and flavoursome and can be cooked in a variety of ways: grill, sauté or poach it. It’s popular with chefs because it goes well with a wide variety of ingredients and flavourings and the bones from its head make an excellent stock. If you like sole and turbot then you’ll like John Dory.
The subtle flavours of John Dory require a punchy sidekick. Blend plenty of coriander and garlic in a food processor with one part lemon juice to two parts extra virgin olive oil and drizzle the mixture over the pan-fried fillet. Alternatively, brush a little harissa paste over the fish before roasting it in the oven. Pop half a lemon into the roasting tray, then squeeze it over the roasted fillet before serving - the juice will be pleasantly sweet and sticky.
John Dory's firm flesh does not flake apart when fried, making it a perfect ingredient for that most British of suppers: fish and chips. Whip up a light tempura batter, substituting sparkling water for ice cold beer. Add just enough liquid to the flour for the mixture to have the consistency of double cream. Heat the oil thoroughly, then deep-fry the batter-coated fish fillets until crisp and bubbling.
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