Egg sauces are quite old-fashioned; British colonists brought the tradition.
Here, adding lots of chopped herbs updates the sauce into something light, fresh and green.
Scrod is just young cod -- or haddock, a close cousin -- with a finer texture and milder flavor than the full-grown fish. If you can't find scrod, any lean white-meat fish such as black sea bass or hybrid striped bass fillets would work well.
- 2 pounds skinless scrod fillets (may substitute other firm-fleshed white fish such as cod or black sea bass)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
- Juice and grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1/4 cup of juice and 1 heaping teaspoon of zest)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped tender herbs, such as marjoram, flat-leaf parsley, chervil, chives or tarragon
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped into small bits, with a few tablespoons reserved for garnish
Position the top oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler.
Lightly sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Arrange in a shallow metal baking pan; dot with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets) or until the fish flakes and is lightly browned on top.
Remove from the oven; pour off any cooking juices into a small saucepan. Cover the fish loosely to keep it warm.
Bring the juices to a boil over medium-high heat, then add the lemon juice, zest and enough water to total 1/2 cup of liquid.
Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch with a little cold water in a measuring cup to form a thin slurry. Whisk it into the saucepan mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid comes to a boil, and becomes thickened and shiny. Remove from the heat.
Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, one at a time, and the herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the hard-cooked eggs, stirring to incorporate.
Divide the fish among individual plates; pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with bits of hard-cooked egg. Serve immediately.
From Aliza Green's "Starting With Ingredients" (Running Press, 2006).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.