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CHEESE – TOPPED BAKED BREAM

Serves
2 ×560g (1 lb 2oz) black bream, filleted and skinned grated zest and juice of ½ lemon salt and black pepper 150ml (1/4 pint) water butter for greasing 30g (1oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated broccoli, to serve lemon zest and parsley sprigs to garnish.

White sauce
30g (1oz) butter 1tbsp plain flour 150ml (1/4 pint) milk.
1- Cut the black bream fillets in half lengthwise, and arrange them in a single layer in a large ovenproof dish.
2- Sprinkle the fish evenly with the grated lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Pour the lemon juice and measured water over the fish fillets. Cover the dish with buttered foil.
3- Bake in a preheated oven at 160ْ C (325ْ F, Gas 3) for about 20 minutes until the flesh flakes easily.
4- Transfer the bream to a warmed flameproof platter, cover, and keep hot. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve. Increase the oven temperature to 220ْC (425ْ F, Gas 7).
5- Make the white sauce: melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and gradually blend in the milk and the reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
6- Pour the white sauce over the fish, sprinkle with the cheese, and bake in the oven for 3-5 minutes until bubbling and golden. Serve hot with broccoli, garnished with lemon zest and parsley sprigs.