Put the milk into a saucepan with the onion. peppercorns, blade of mace, bay leaf and parsley stalks.
** blade of mace***Information from The Spice House: Mace is the outer shell of the nutmeg fruit. It has a lighter, sweeter flavor. Should you open the small, plum-sized fruit of the nutmeg tree, inside you would find the nutmeg protectively covered by the thin, lacy-looking scarlet-colored shell that we know as mace.
2Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and leave to infuse while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Melt the butter in another sauce pan and use a little to brush inside of a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
4Cut the cod into finger-sized strips and place in the casserole dish. scatter the mushrooms and prawns on top.
*** In Ireland they call shrimp prawns.
5Strain the milk through a sieve, then discard the contents of the sieve. Add flour to the remaining butter in the sauce pan, stirring to blend. Gradually stir in the strained milk to make a smooth sauce. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
6Add 2/3 of the cheese. Stir until melted. Pour cheese over the fish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
7Cooks Notes: Any firm flesh fish or shellfish can be used for this dish alone with cultivated or wild mushrooms. The bake can also be made in 4 individual dishes or in 8 scallop shells which makes an excellent starter.
8My notes: In Ireland they call all shrimp prawn, regardless of the size. (Normally in the states we use the term prawns for giant shrimp.)
Starters are what the Irish call appetizers or the first course.