Zara’s Turbot with Clams

An unusual and delicately-flavoured dish, Zara’s Turbot with Clams is an excellent dinner party dish. Serve with new potatoes and baby French beans and accompany it with a fruity white wine, such as Gewiirz-traminer. Halibut may be substituted for the turbot if you prefer.

1 teaspoon butter

1 pint fish stock

8 fl. oz. dry white wine

4 black peppercorns

2 lb. turbot, filleted

2 oz. butter

4 tablespoons flour

14 oz. canned minced clams, drained, juice reserved

5 fl. oz. milk

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

With the teaspoon of butter, grease a medium-sized ovenproof baking dish. Set aside.

Pour the fish stock, wine and pepper-corns into a large saucepan. Set the pan over high heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the turbot and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a slotted spoon or fish slice, remove the turbot from the pan and place it in the prepared baking dish. Reserve 8 fluid ounces of the stock and discard the rest.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the 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 clam juice, reserved stock and milk, 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. Stir in the salt and the clams. Remove the pan from the heat.

Pour the sauce over the turbot. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, sprinkle- over the parsley and serve at once.

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