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.