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Breton steaks

In French cookery the term a la bretonne, when applied to fish, indicates that the dish is served with a sauce made with leeks, onions, celery and mushrooms.

ingredients

serves 4
4 X 225 g (8 oz) cod or hake steaks
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50 ml (2 fl oz) sweet vermouth

sauce

75 g (3 oz) butter
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 small leeks, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
100 g (4 oz) mushrooms, thinly sliced
40 g (1 1/2 oz) plain flour
150 ml (1/4 pint) milk

method

1.Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

2.Season the fish steaks well with salt and pepper. Arrange in the base of a casserole and pour over the vermouth. Cover and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the fish is tender and the flesh flakes easily when pierced with a knife.

3.Meanwhile, make the sauce: melt
half the butter in a large frying-pan, add the celery, leeks, onion and mushrooms and fry gently for 5-6 minutes until soft. Set aside.

4.Using a fish slice, transfer the fish steaks to a warmed serving dish and keep warm in the oven turned to its lowest setting. Reserve the fish cooking juices.

5.In a small pan, melt remaining butter, sprinkle in the flour and stir
over low heat for 1 - 2 minutes until it is light straw-coloured. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk and the fish juices. Return to the heat and simmer, stirring, until thick and smooth.

6. Stir in the vegetables and heat through gently for about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the fish steaks and serve the dish at once, while still piping hot.

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