Put the cod fillets into a shallow pan and add 600ml (1pt) of water and the bay leaves. Heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, until the fish is cooked. To check, the flesh should be opaque and flake easily when tested with a fork.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the milk and stock into a saucepan with the butter and flour. Heat, stirring constantly with a small whisk until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Stir in the parsley or chives, prawns and capers, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Lift the fish fillets from the pan, draining them well. Serve on warm plates with the sauce, accompanied by lightly cooked fresh green vegetables.
Cook’s tip: This dish works equally well with fillets of wild Alaska salmon or halibut – now widely available from the fish section in many supermarkets.
• 4 x 150g (6oz) fillets wild Alaska Pacific cod
• 2 bay leaves
• 150ml (¼pt) milk
• 150ml (¼pt) vegetable stock
• 25g (1oz) butter
• 25g (1oz) plain flour
• 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives
• 100g (4oz) peeled prawns, thawed if frozen
• 1 tbsp capers
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Fresh green vegetables, to serve