Plaice Baked with Mushrooms

A tasty main meal dish, Plaice Baked with Mushrooms may be served with croquette or creamed potatoes. A zoell chilled white wine, such as Chablis or Niersteiner makes a good accompaniment.

10 fl. oz. dry white wine

4 fl. oz. water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 bay leaf

6 black peppercorns small onion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

8 plaice fillets

2 oz. butter

1 lb. small button mushrooms, wiped clean and thickly sliced

1 tablespoons flour

2 fl. oz. double cream

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chervil or

½ teaspoons dried chervil |- teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

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

In a large baking dish, combine the wine, water, lemon juice, bay leaf, peppercorns, onion and salt. Place the fish fillets in the dish and baste them thoroughly with the mixture. Cover the dish and place it in the centre of the oven.

Bake the fish for 25 to 30 minutes or until the flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes. With a fish slice or spatula, remove the fish fillets from the dish and transfer them to a large, flameproof casserole. Set aside and keep warm. Strain and reserve 10 fluid ounces of the cooking liquid. Set aside.

In a medium-sized frying-pan, melt 1 ½ ounces of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a plate. Set aside and keep warm.

Preheat the grill to high.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the reserved cooking liquid, stirring constantly. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce is thick and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream, chervil and cayenne. Add the mushrooms to the sauce, stirring constantly until they are well blended.

Pour the mushroom sauce over the fish. Sprinkle on the grated cheese and place the casserole under the grill . Grill for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Remove the casserole from the grill and serve at once.

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