This meal came out of necessity. We had fish fillets on hand, and what do we do with them? I’ve cooked fish in every way possible, but this time I wanted something simple and quick. No fancy stuff. We wanted something tasty and economical. Thus, fillets with cheese and bread. What could be simpler than that? And if you look in your cupboard, I’m sure there’s some breadcrumbs in there. If not, just take any bread and grate it in a blender or food processor. As to the cheese, any cheese will do. We did it with blue cheese. But you can use cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, Romano, or even good ole American cheese. Remember: this is an inexpensive, improvised meal—That will have guests and family clamoring for more.
This dish goes well with French fired and a simple salad or, better still, rice and pasta. Use your imagination, folks. Also, the fish fillets used can be any firm-fleshed fish fillets, be it cod, haddock, perch, whiting, bass, grouper, catfish, snapper, etc. The dish accommodates every taste and fancy.
FISH FILL ETS WITH CHEESE AND BREAD
4 medium-sized fish fillets
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup butter
¼ cup flour
¼ cup milk
¾ cup light or heavy cream (your choice)
1½ cups grated cheese
2/3 cup grated cheese
- Wash fillets under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub all over with the oregano, salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet or frying pan, melt ¼ cup butter over moderate heat. When the foams subsides, add the fish and fry for 5 minutes on each side. Using a spatula, transfer the fish to a warmed flameproof serving dish (we prefer cast-iron).
- In the original pan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to form a smooth paste. Gradually add the milk and cream, stirring constantly and being careful to avoid lumps. Return the pan to the heat and cook the sauce, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until it is smooth and fairly thick and hot but not boiling. Remove pan from heat and pour the sauce over the fish.
- Preheat the broiler to high. Sprinkle the cheese and bread crumbs over the fish. Place the fish under the broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. Remove the serving dish from the grill and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings.