Fish Au Gratin

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This recipe goes against everything I’ve been told about fish and cheese. They’re not supposed to go together. You never put parmesan on, say, shrimp and linguine. This recipe has loads of cheese… three kinds, in fact, and it tastes pretty darned good. When I made it, I picked up a fillet of orange roughy and a good sized slab of mahi-mahi because it was on sale, but you can use any fish you like. And you don’t need to stick to fillets. Whole fish, cut up and made into 1 inch steaks would work, too. And you don’t need to cut the skin off the fillets. You’ll be poaching them first, and when they come out of that, the skin and the bones will come out easily. Adding the lemon juice to the white sauce is more than just for flavor. It denatures the cheese, and makes it less likely to go all stringy on you.

2 or 3 fish fillets, whatever looks good at the market.
2T vinegar
½lb  frozen ez-peel shrimp (optional)
1c shredded gruyere
½c shredded emmentaler
¼c shredded parmesan
2T butter
3T flour
1 green onion, chopped
¼c white wine / hard cider / cognac
2c milk
zest of 1 lemon, plus the juice from ½
salt, pepper
fresh grated nutmeg

In a saucepan of water, poach the fish fillets and shrimp in with the vinegar for about 15 minutes. Drain, and cool, and then remove any skin, bones, or shells, or otherwise inedible bits, and break the fillets into bite sized chunks and put it all in a gratin dish.

Meanwhile, saute the onion in the butter, and add the flour to make a roux. Add the alcohol, and let that bubble away for a bit, then add the milk, and make a white sauce. Off the heat, add the cheeses, the zest and the lemon juice. Ladle over the fish. Cook in a 375° oven for 45 minutes. Serve over rice.