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Best great budget recipes for 50% or less: Plaice with a creamy prawn sauce recipe

Photo: Plaice with a breamy prawn sauce

Photo: Plaice with a breamy prawn sauce

We stopped eating fish for a while a few years ago as it was just so expensive. I made a fish pie one Christmas and the ingredients cost over £15.00.

Then I realised that there are often amazing bargains on a late Sunday afternoon from the Waitrose fish counter. With these and the regular offerings from the Tesco condemned food section we now have access to quite a lot of great fish and sea food for at least 50% of their normal value. A lot of fish is tossed into the freezer to be turned into fish pies but if we find plaice or sole these are great for a quick and simple deluxe supper. I prepare and cook all my vegetables first so the fish can be eaten perfectly cooked and it’s not hanging around getting dry in the warming oven.

The sauce is so easy, and is delicious even with just some fresh chopped parsley. I added a small handful of cooked prawns (bought for a third of the price and frozen in small batches to be added to soup, pies and garnish starters). Do check that they have not been previously frozen. Although if they are raw prawns, I quickly cook them and then freeze them.

The two fillets of plaice cost £1.20 (Waitrose offer price) and six kingsized prawns cost 50p (Tesco condemned food counter). The complete meal worked out at £1.25 a head, including the double cream (Tesco condemned food counter), peas (Netto frozen garden peas – surprisingly good) and spuds (East Anglian, offer price £1.49 for 2.5 kilos Tesco). Parsley was from the garden. The wine is left over wine donated by a client. The butter is Tesco Value.

Plaice with a creamy prawn sauce recipe (for 2)


  • 2 fillets of place
  • A handful of cooked prawns
  • A walnut sized knob of butter
  • 3 tbsp of thick double cream
  • 1 tbsp of dry white wine
  • Lashings of ground white pepper and a few sprigs of chopped parsley


  1. Over a gentle heat melt the knob of butter in a heavy bottomed sauté pan. Place the fish in the pan skin side down for 2-3 minutes. Using a fish slice, turn the fish over carefully and fry gently for another couple of minutes. Check to see that they are cooked through (the flesh should look creamy all the way through). Reserve the fish in a warm place.
  2. Add the cream to the sauté pan it will initially become thinner but will gradually thicken over a low heat (keep stirring and add the prawns, a decent lash of ground white pepper and the wine). Within a few minutes you will have a wonderful sauce to pour over the place fillets. It is ready when the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Pour the sauce over the fish. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with new potatoes and peas or French beans.

  Leave a reply


  1. Do you order online Fiona? When I lived in an area without a game dealer (or before he came to our area!) the internet saved me (and use of freezer) I always used this one but as we are talking fish… you could try that one, or

  2. Katie Clamp

    Had this last night it was awesome and has NO CARBS too what a bonus!! Thanks

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Natasha

    I haven’t tried witch and will now look out for it. I so wish that we had a local fishmonger.

  4. £3 for shrimps! thats shocking daylight robbery! I’m so thankful to have a fishmonger nearby I don’t know what we would do without it – you can buy fat crabs still waving theiir claws at you for £6, whereas in supermarket a tiny pot will set you back a small fortune. For a delish native fish that is cheap and plentiful have you tried witch? Its like sole but maybe more delicate.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Pamela

    Your plaice recipe sounds superb. Thank you for sharing it.

    Fish with rice? Why not. I must give your recipe a go with rice, of course 🙂

    Hi Natasha

    These were North Atlantic prawns. Original price £3.99.

    I love Morecombe bay potted shrimps and could eat them every day. But the only supplier around here is Waitrose – just under £3.00 for a tiny tub.

    Hi Scott

    We eat fish about once a week now we have discovered the way to buy fresh fish at a reasonable price. What a shame that your wife doesn’t like prawns. We love them and the MIn Pins like the crunchy shells.

    Hello Salynay

    Thanks for the tip about the lemon marinade before cooking. I love skate but haven’t seen it around for ages.

    Hello Z

    I will begin a search of the local suppliers as soon as I finish answering this post. Thank you for your tip. Living with a potato freak it’s much appreciated!

  6. On a side note, do you ever buy sacks of potatoes? A 25kg sack of unwashed (which keep better) potatoes would cost you something like 30p per kilo.

  7. saltynay

    I would never give up skate wings there just so delicious in the subtlety of there flavour. Fry up in a griddle pan after being dusted in flour and pepper with a squeeza of lemon an hour before cooking, its sublime.

  8. Scott at Realepicurean

    We don’t cook fish an awful lot at home – perhaps once every couple of weeks. My wife hates prawns, by the way 🙁

  9. I adore fish, and all things prawn, however see this

    Its been a growing problem I am afraid – the only kind prawns that can be certified organic are from ecuador and they are very nice. For a cheaper ethical solution try north atlantic prawns or any of our native shrimps…I see tesco often offer frozen scottish langoustine at #2 for 12. Morcombe bay potted shrimp are lovely and brown shrimp are easily available at fishmongers – cheap and guilt free!

  10. I could give up meat but not fish, although honestly, either would be hard to do away with altogether for me. I buy fish each week from my local market. He doesn’t have a dazzling variety of fish but it is all very fresh and good quality. I miss the days of shopping on the fish market in Manchester with loads of choice. I regularly bought red snapper and parrot fish. I also used to buy plaice which I dipped in flour seasoned with a touch of curry powder and fried, put it aside and keep it warm while you add about 3 tablespoons of mango chutney, the juice of an orange and a sliced banana to the pan and heat well to reduce and thicken then pour over the plaice fillets and serve. Delish! Haven’t made this for ages. We almost always eat fish with rice, a throw back to our tropical heritage.

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