Continuing the theme of easy on the stomach food, tonight I bought a bit of plaice and made a version of what my mum calls Fish in Milk – it’s such an institution of my childhood memories that it deserves the capitals. Mum always used to use lemon sole, and I remember not really understanding whether there was lemon in it or if it was just called lemon sole, and trying one time, as a student, to make it for myself with both lemon juice and milk as a result of that confusion. I’m not always top of the class for common sense.
Tonight I wanted to make quite a thick, buttery, parsley sauce to go with the fish and potatoes, and I steamed up a bit of broccoli to go alongside the whole lot. I don’t have very specific instructions for the sauce, but I’ll do my best:
- 1 1/2 cups milk – I used soy milk
- 4 tsp butter or margarine – I used light margarine
- half an onion
- 2 – 3 heaped tsp flour
- salt and pepper
- one plaice (or other white fish) fillet
- one baking potato, peeled and cut into eight
- half a small head of broccoli
- about 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
First, prepare the potato and put into a pot of boiling water to cook, then cut the broccoli into florets and put over the potatoes in a steamer (or you can cook it in the microwave towards the end instead).
Put the milk, butter and onion into a small pot over a medium high heat – be careful not to have the heat too high as it’ll scorch the milk. When it’s simmering, remove about 2 1/2 tbsp from the pot and put in a small bowl, and mix to a thick, smooth paste with the flour. Add this back to the pot and stir well. Now season the sauce with salt and pepper and put in the fish – fold it if you have to. Leave this to simmer for about seven minutes, by which time it has hopefully thickened. If not you can set the fish somewhere warm while you try desperately to get the consistency of the sauce right by adding more flour and simmering – not that that’s what I did tonight, of course. Add the parsley when you remove the fish, whether the consistency’s right or not, and season to taste.
By this time, the potatoes and broccoli will be ready (or over done, depending how the sauce went). Drain them and put the spuds on a plate, crushing them with a fork as you go, then dot with a little more butter or marg, if you like. Flake the fish on top – the flaking process was greatly helped in my case by the fact that the fish had basically fallen apart anyway – then top with the parsley sauce. Pop the veg on the side and BOOM, you’re done.
Here is my still-in-progress Christmas playlist – further suggestions welcome.