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2 (-lb) boneless, skinless white fish filets sea salt tablespoon unsalted butter, in four slices 4-5 shallots, peeled and halved peel from lemon about 20 cloves cup dry white wine cup water pinch of mace Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Cut out waxed paper to fit over the top of a shallow ovenproof dish (such as an enameled cast-iron gratin dish). Set aside. Place the filets (thin end folded under to achieve a uniform thickness) in your ovenproof dish. Season them well with salt and top with slices of butter. Surround the filets with shallots, lemon peel and cloves. Pour the wine and water around the filets. Place dish over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cover with waxed paper and place in the bottom third of the oven. Cook filets about eight minutes, or until the flesh is easily pierced by a fork. Dont let the filets dry out. Place the fish on plates, cover, and make the sauce. Strain the poaching liquid into a saucepan (not aluminum). If you are going to eat the shallots, add them to the poaching liquid. Add the mace and a bit more salt. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and reduce by half. Pour sauce over fish and serve immediately. Serves 2
Adapted from To boyle Place or Flounders in Hannah Woolley, The Cooks Guide: or Rare Receipts for Cookery (London: Peter Dring, 1664), 6 and Filets de poisson pochs au vin blanc in Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961), 208-209.

Hannah Woolleys Poached Fish