Cheese Baked Fish
I have a cheese tooth. I just luuurve cheese! My sis had a hard time tearing me away from the cheese section in departmental stores when we were in Mumbai. I still have the habit of making a quick, furtive run to the cheese section whenever I am out shopping for groceries with the husband. I wish cheese would not be blamed for weight gain. I wish the doctor had prescribed having cheese as way of losing weight. Sigh.
In any way, I have been introducing cheese in my recipes. My dad especially loved my chicken in cheese sauce. So much so that he asks Ma to make it whenever there is a special occasion or if a guest is dropping in for a meal. Also, he says my cheese chicken is better than Ma’s!
That boosted my morale quite a bit and I decided to expand my cheese realm. By that, I meant replicating the dish with fish, instead of chicken. I saw a similar recipe in Priyadarshini’s blog and the idea of using breadcrumbs came from her. I first made it for my cousin and sis-in-law for a ‘farewell dinner’ just before they were about to leave the country for US. They had arrived unexpectedly early. R, my cousin, is not exactly known for his punctuality. But then, an honest confession (“we had nothing else to do, we sold our TV, so decided to come early”) and I had to hustle and hurry!
I was really, really worried about how my dish would turn up and although it did seem a bit shaky, they seemed to enjoy it. And hence, I am adding this recipe to my cheese repertoire. Here, take a look, and please feel free to add your own twists and condiments.
Cheese Baked Fish (for want of a better name)
4 steaks of firm white fish (I had Rohu), marinated in a little salt and pepper for 10-15 minutes
Breadcrumbs (I used 2 brown bread slices)
Refined oil for glazing
For the cheese sauce
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon flour
3/4th cup milk
2 cubes of processed cheese, grated (I used Amul cheese and that I think is Cheddar)
Salt and pepper to taste
First, let’s make the cheese sauce. In a pan, sizzle up the butter and add the spoonful of flour, whisking it furiously so that no lumps are formed. Now, pour in the milk in batches and keep on stirring.
Next, add the grated cheese and stir till they melt and thicken up the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Take the sauce off the gas. It should not be too thick or too thin.
Now, line a baking tray with silver foil paper and glaze it generously with refined oil. Arrange the marinated fish steaks on the tray and pour the cheese sauce over them. Finally, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the fish so that the sauce is well covered. You can toss in some more grated cheese over the breadcrumbs as well. I did not, though.
Slide in the baking tray in a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees for 10 minutes, in the middle slot. Later, shift the tray to the upper slot for around 4 minutes so that the breadcrumbs crisp up and turn a golden brown crust.
There, your delicious, decadent cheese baked fish is ready! Devour it hot with any dish of your choice. It pairs well with herbed, buttered rice.
Enjoy this cheesy treat, oozing with melted goodness, and let’s wait for the day when the Doc writes “One cube of cheese, twice daily”!