February menu – halibut in cheese sauce

I have to say to begin with that I would never serve fish with cheese sauce, nor would I choose it if I were eating elsewhere… I’m sure it is delicious but fish and cheese? I don’t really fancy that! However ninety years ago it was a suggestion in the ‘Little Dinner – for every month of the year‘ section of my Modern Practical Cookery book. I mentioned yesterday that on the suggested menu for February was the halibut, crown roast of lamb, peach cream and prune toast as a savoury. The menu, for six, also had a table setting suggestion – this month anemones in a cut glass bowl set on vivid Chinese table mats.

Halibut and cheese sauce

  • 2 – 2½ lbs whole halibut, filleted, rinsed, dried
  • lemon, and lemon juice
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 oz flour
  • 3 oz cheese
  • ¾ pint milk
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1½ oz butter
  • salt and pepper
  1. place halibut in a well buttered dish and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice, dab all over with butter
  2. cover and cook in a medium oven for 10 mins or until tender
  3. arrange in the cooking dish, or another, garnish with slices of lemon (I might use the zest as well or instead)
  4. in a separate pan, melt butter and stir in flour
  5. blend in milk, stirring well to make a smooth sauce and bring to the boil
  6. cook for a few minutes then add cheese and seasoning to taste
  7. cook a little longer until the cheese is melted and serve from a sauce-boat

I imagine this might be served with thin slices of bread and butter, without the cheese and with a very light, buttery sauce this would probably be to my taste!

6 Comments

  1. Rosie Scribblah

    Wow, that amount of Halibut would cost a fortune now! I often have fish with cheese sauce, delicious. I roll plaice fillets and put them into a buttered dish with cheese sauce on top and a bit of grated cheese on top and pop it into the oven. Or use a mixture of fish pieces in a cheese sauce, top with buttery mash and pop in the oven – cheesy fish pie.

    Liked by 2 people

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