I thought I would kick off with a rich, indulgent dish, perfect for the cold evenings. This Smoked Haddock Gratin can be served as a starter or a main course. I like to do them in individual ramekins but it works just as well making one large dish family style. This recipe is fairly simple but impressive and really delicious. Most smoked fish will work here and you could add some prawns to the sauce whilst it is cooking to make it really luxurious.
300g Un-dyed Smoked Haddock
100g Leek, finely diced
150ml Double Cream
20g Plain Flour
Pinch of Paprika (optional)
1. Place the haddock in a wide pan and cover with the cream and milk. Bring gently to a simmer and poach for 7-10 minutes or until when you lift the fish it flakes and falls apart.Depending on the pan you use you may need to baste your fish every minute or so.
2. Meanwhile melt the butter in a saucepan and add the diced leeks, cook gently until soft. Add the flour and cook slowly stirring all the time until it is golden. This is called a ‘Blonde Roux’.
3. Lift the fish out of the cooking liquor and set aside, add the liquor to the roux slowly, whisking constantly until thick, smooth and rich. Season with salt and paprika if using.
4. Take sauce off the heat and flake the haddock into it. Keep the haddock flakes quite big and stir gently so you do not break it up too much. Discard the skin. At this stage it should be quite thick and glossy with lovely big chunks of fish and sweet leeks.
5. Divide into ramekins, top with a spoon of cream, just enough for a thin layer Then add cheese, as much as you want.
Put under a hot grill until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
6. Serve with toasted ciabatta drizzled with olive oil or Potato Wedges. (Or with whatever you want!)
Hope you enjoy it. If you make it then leave a comment of how you got on with any tips/ideas you have.