Fish with Bechamel Sauce
For cooking fish prior to serving
with bechamel sauce:
650 grams white flesh fish (whole)
1/2 cup white wine
(thyme, parsley & coriander leaves)
5 cups water
1 medium onion minced
2 slices lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Bechamel sauce for serving cooked fish with:
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons plain white flour
2 cups milk
2 bay leaves
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 parsley sprigs for decoration
For the bechamel sauce, you may adjust ingredients to suit the quantity of sauce required.
Clean and scale fish while keeping the whole fish in one piece. Take care while cooking to ensure that the fish is not overcooked.
Place the fish in a large and deep saucepan with all the ingredients listed for cooking the fish. Bring to the boil over medium high heat. Make sure there is enough water to keep the fish immersed at all times.
Allow the fish to simmer until it is cooked to your preference. Make sure that the fish is not overcooked. Check at regular intervals until fish is just cooked without breaking into pieces.
Carefully remove the fish in one piece and transfer to a serving dish. The bechamel sauce will be poured onto the fish.
Melt the butter for the bechamel in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook until just golden, stirring constantly to ensure a smooth blend.
Pour in half the milk, stirring vigorously until smooth, then stir in the remaining milk. Add the bay leaves.
Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer gently for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure that the sauce consistency is neither too thick nor too liquid.
Pour on top of the cooked fish in the serving plate and serve immediately. Decorate with the parsley sprigs.
Serve with salad and freshly cooked bread. Ideal as an appetiser before the main course.
Madeleine's recipe : Fish with Bechamel Sauce
Discover more of Madeleine’s Mauritian cuisine in‘Best of Mauritian Cuisine’ by Madeleine and Clancy Philippe