Melanie's Hake Mornay

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I have been feeling like some fish for quite some time, and though Good Friday is around the corner I felt like something other than Pickled Fish. I decided on something that I hadn’t made in a long time. Hake Mornay. I am giving you the recipe the way I always make it and the way it should be made. However, I did not use wine tonight as I am abstaining from alcohol during the month of Lent. It was superb nevertheless.
1 kg skinless hake fillets
1/2 cup dry white wine (omitted – used vegetable stock with fish sauce)
1/2 cup fish stock
butter for greasing
2 cups (500 ml) Mornay sauce
50 g grated Parmesan cheese
2 TB butter
2 cups cooked rice (optional)
6 slices lemon (optional)
3 chopped garlic cloves (optional
Chili flakes and black pepper (optional)
Mornay (Cheese) Sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups warmed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup grated gruyere cheese (couldn’t find so used a mix of cheddar and mozzarella)
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat.
Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until the roux is a pale yellow and frothy, about 1 minute.
Do not allow the roux to brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Allow to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cheeses and whisk until melted.
Cut each fillet into 3 portions and poach gently for 10 minutes in the wine and stock.
Drain the fillets and arrange in a greased baking dish.
Reduce the cooking liquid to half its volume by heating, and add to the Mornay sauce.
Cover the fish with the sauce.
Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, dot with butter, and brown lightly under the grill.
Chef’s Note: I placed the fish on top of cooked rice, top rice with lemon slices and crushed garlic, chili flakes and black pepper add fish then pour sauce over.
Serve with steamed veggies.
Prepared, tried and tested by:  Melanie Kramar

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