Thursday Cooks: Karl Sergison’s fish bonne femme

editorial image
Have your say

This is a little bit of a hidden treasure down a back street in Spalding, but is definitely worth hunting out.

Karl Sergison offers homemade and, where possible, locally sourced food in his restaurant and deli in Francis Street, known as Sergi’s Deli, where his wife Debbie is head chef.

In better weather, it is also possible to enjoy food and drink – the restaurant and deli are both fully licensed – in a pretty courtyard area.

Karl also teaches cookery in the cooking academy set up to resemble a home kitchen so that students feel confident they can recreate dishes by themselves.

Here, Sergi shares his simple but tasty recipe for Fish Bonne Femme that will serve four people as a main course.


4 nice white fish fillets, such as cod or plaice

4 shallots finely chopped

12 button mushrooms, thinly sliced

50g butter

100ml dry white wine

100ml fish stock (use fish bouillon or good quality readymade if you haven’t the time to make your own)

100ml double cream

chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.


First make the sauce but keep a little of the fish stock back to poach the fish in:

Add butter to a small pan and melt over a medium heat, add the shallots and the mushrooms and sauté until soft but not coloured, then add the wine and reduce almost completely.

Add the fish stock and repeat as for wine.

Add the cream and reduce until the consistency coats the back of a spoon.

Add the chopped parsley and season to taste.

Keep to one side.

You are now ready to poach your fish. Lightly butter an ovenproof dish and place your fish inside, pour a little of the stock you kept back from the sauce just enough to cover the fish halfway up.

Cover with a lid or buttered greaseproof paper and place in a preheated oven 180c for ten minutes or until the fish is cooked through, don’t overcook it if it feels slightly soft it’s done if it’s overcooked it will become rubbery.

To serve, drain fish on some kitchen paper, place on plate, warm sauce up and pour over the fish.

Serve with some nice baby potatoes and maybe some green beans and, of course, a nice glass of crisp dry white wine.