Bass Baked in Lemon and Mushroom Sauce

Covered with a lemon and mushroom sauce and baked in the oven, sea bass is easy to prepare. Served with sauteed potatoes and petits pois it makes a delicious main course for lunch or a dinner party. It may be accompanied by a full-bodied dry white wine.

8 bass fillets

2 oz. butter

1 oz. flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

1 ½ pints tepid milk

1 bouquet garni consisting of’ parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

4 tablespoons lemon juice

8 oz. mushrooms, wiped and sliced

1 lemon, quartered

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Wipe the fish with kitchen paper towels and place in a large, shallow ovenproof dish.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk, stirring constantly. Bring to the boil. Add the bouquet garni, lemon juice and mushrooms, and stir well. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Cover the fish with the sauce. Cover the dish and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with lemon quarters.

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