Poisson aux Champignons

Baked Fish with Mushrooms in White Wine

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • For

    6

    People

Appears in

The Cuisine of the Sun

By Mireille Johnston

Published 1990

  • About

This delectable, light dish is very easy to prepare. The delicate, subtly flavored sauce is thickened only by the cooked onions, so make sure you mince or grate them very fine.

I like to serve this dish by itself, followed by a green tossed salad. But if you want a more substantial meal, Courgettes Râpées or Riz aux Herbes are good accompaniments.

Choose a large, firm fillet of bass, red snapper, fresh cod, haddock, or belly fish. This dish is highly seasoned but not rich, and the lettuce or sorrel infuses the fish with moisture and flavor.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds fish fillets or trimmed slices
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon savory
  • 3 tablespoons oil (half olive and half peanut oil)
  • 1 tablespoon cognac (optional)
  • 1 pound white or yellow onions, grated or finely minced
  • 2 pounds fresh mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 lettuce leaves (Boston, escarole, or iceberg) or 1 cup chopped sorrel leaves*

Method

Dry the fillets with paper towels. Sprinkle with pepper and savory and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a baking dish that covers two burners on the stove.* Add the fish and sauté for 2 minutes. Turn over gently with two spatulas and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the stove. Add cognac, if you have it on hand, and light it. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the onions and mushrooms and sauté for 10 minutes. When the vegetables are limp, add salt, pepper, and the wine and continue cooking. Gently lift the fish onto a platter. Add its juices and salt and pepper to the onion-mushroom mixture. Wash and oil the baking dish and place half of the mixture in it. Gently lay the fish on this bed and cover with the rest of the mixture. Spread the lettuce leaves (or the sorrel sautéed in 1 tablespoon olive oil) on top and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. (When you can easily prick a needle through to the bone, it is done.) Remove the lettuce leaves.

Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper and serve surrounded with sprigs of parsley on a large warm platter.

* If you have neither of these on hand, you may use aluminum foil instead.