Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fish vol-au-vents

Vol-au-vents, those little puff pastry shells which you fill with meat - or in my case fish - in a white sauce are so unbelievably retro that they might even be called vintage and thus, just like that, there is nothing old-fashioned or tacky about them, but they acutally have class. Same as with fashion: last season's couture - no, thank you, vintage couture - yes, please!

When I was a child, we had vol-au-vents quite regularly (I was born in the late seventies I might add) but my now my mother deleted them from her repertoire, I think, much to my father's disappointment. I can't recall ever making them for myself but last week I suddenly had a vision of fish vol-au-vents and there you go.

Fish vol-au-vents (serves 2)

  • 4 little puff pastry vol-au-vents
  • 300g fish fillets (I used half salmon and half sea bass, shrimps would be nice, too)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1.5 dl light vegetable broth
  • 1 dl milk
  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth
  • 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 180° and bake the vol-au-vents for about 10 minutes. In a small saucepan melt the butter until it bubbles. Add the flour and stir to form a smooth paste. Add the broth and milk and stir vigourously until the mixture is smooth and there are no more clumps. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Add the vermouth and season with salt, white pepper and a little lemon juice. Cut the fish into 3cm-thick strips and drizzle with a little lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Add to the sauce and simmer for about five minutes with the lid on until the fish is done. Spoon into the vol-au-vents and serve. Takes you right back to the good ol' times.

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