BAKED HAKE WITH WHITE SAUCE AND BUTTERED CRUMBS


BAKED HAKE WITH WHITE SAUCE AND BUTTERED CRUMBS
500 g Hake fillets or other firm-fleshed fish
pinch of paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 cup milk, warmed

Topping:
¾ cup coarsely ground fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Put the fish in a shallow roasting dish or gratin pan.
Season both sides with the salt, pepper and paprika; sprinkle lemon juice over fish.
Meanwhile make the sauce by melting the butter in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the flour. Stir until combined, over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add, in thirds, the milk, first time off the heat and then add remaining milk on the heat, stirring until well combined. Add the seasonings, stirring to combine well. If the sauce seems too thick, add more milk or heavy cream. It should be of pouring consistency like a moderately thick cream soup.
Pour it over the fish, covering the fillets completely. Mix the crumbs and butter to combine. Sprinkle over fish. Bake for about 35 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and fish flakes easily with a fork.
Recipe posted by Adam Cloete
Photo: Adam Cloete