I fell in love with this dish the first time I taste it in a restaurant years ago, but unfortunately, I was not able to go back there and didn’t even remember the dish’s name. All I know is, the name of the restaurant (Cookbook Kitchen) and its creamy, buttery, cheesy, with some herbs baked fish fillet.
Until some time ago, the restaurant’s name became more famous (which I always mistaken for Notebook Kitchen, I was hooked in the movie “The Notebook” that time, that’s the reason perhaps) and people who’ve been there blogged about it and I saw a snap of this dish. There, I got the name and my search continue.
I know that to you it’s an easy peasy dish to make or maybe a common dish to your household, but for someone like me who just started to explore the world of culinary that time, it’s not easy at all. I searched the internet but only gave me fried versions, I searched for baked but it’s not exactly what I’m looking for. Until I decided to play around with the recipes I got and finally, I was able to came up with my version and the search is over.
I still hope that one day, I’ll be back to that restaurant and eat this dish once again, just to check if I have done the dish close enough to theirs 🙂
- softened butter for greasing the pan
- 500g fish fillets (any white fish will do)
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1 1/2 cups bechamel sauce
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp grated mozzarella cheese (optional)
- 1 tbsp grated edam cheese (optional)
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Prepare the Fish
Lightly grease the pan with butter.
Prepare the fish, drain as much liquid from the fish by patting the fillets with paper towel.
Coat the fish with lemon juice. Set aside,
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for fish seasoning.
Sprinkle the seasoning to the fillets, making sure that each side is coated.
Transfer to the greased pan and set aside.
Prepare the Parmesan Sauce
Prepare the bechamel sauce per package direction.
Add 3 tbsp parmesan cheese and edam cheese to the sauce. Stir.
Assembly and Baking
Pre-bake the fish for 5 minutes, this is just to release any excess liquid. Remove the excess liquid.
Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese on top of the fish.
Pour the sauce evenly on top.
Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese and rosemary.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
5 minutes before the allotted baking time, turn your broiler on to brown the top and form a crust for few minutes. Please keep an eye while broiling, since it can be perfectly done to burnt in few seconds.
Remove the pan from the oven and let set for few minutes (at least 5 minutes) before serving.
You can serve this with garlic bread,rice or mashed potato or just anything you prefer. I like to drizzle my serving with some lemon juice.
I always use frozen fish fillets and I notice that it becomes too watery when I baked it, thus giving me a soupy result. I want this to be saucy and not soupy, so it’s really frustrating everytime it happens. So, I learned to pre-bake (more like searing) the fish first for few minutes to remove excess liquid, before topping it with the bechamel sauce and bake. This way, I’m only left with enough liquid to keep my fish moist.
Butter, I love butter but I can’t go crazy putting a lot of butter in this dish since it can completely ruin it. I don’t want my fish soaking in butter after baking. So, I use a good quality butter to grease the pan I’m about to use, aside from adding moisture and preventing the fish to stick, it also adds flavor to the dish.
Spices, if you don’t have all the seasoning ingredients listed above, you can just use, italian seasoning, chili pepper flakes, salt and pepper. If you’re in Philippines, you can use a small amount of Magic Sarap and ground pepper to season the fish.
I hope you try this and enjoy this dish too as much as we did, thank you 🙂