Smoked haddock gratin
Gratin originated in French cuisine. It originally referred to the tasty crust left behind in a pan after baking, which was scraped off and eaten as a bonus for the chef.
This smoked haddock gratin is topped with cream and cheese which creates a beautiful light brown crust. The meal is served straight from the dish – make sure it is a shallow, flattish dish, the fish should not overlap.
If you are a cheese lover, this dish will be straight up your alley.
600 grams leaf spinach
butter, for greasing
smoked haddock, defrosted
FOR THE TOPPING
spring onions, sliced
Prepare all your ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 180C.
Place the spinach in a large colander in a sink and carefully and slowly pour over a kettleful of hot water to wilt it. Cool again under the cold tap then squeeze out as much liquid from the spinach as possible. The trick is to really get them as dry as possible – I normally roll it up in a dishtowel and wring, or a potato ricer. If you don’t get the spinach dry, it will make the dish soggy.
Butter a medium gratin dish. Roughly chop the spinach and scatter evenly over the base of the dish. Season the spinach lightly with salt and pepper. Wipe the haddock dry with kitchen paper and lay them skinned side down on top of the spinach. Nestle the tomatoes among the haddock fillets.
Mix all the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and season with lots of pepper and a little salt. Dollop and spread the mixture over the fish and spinach and bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 mins until bubbling and golden. If the top is not brown enough, put the gratin under a hot gril for a few minutes. Serve the dish straight from the dish. And if are a ‘bread-person’ like my dad, grap a piece and make sure to get all those lovely flavours.