June 26, 2008

Fish gratin

We had some half-fat creme fraiche to use up so I found this recipe from a magazine and tweaked it to make it healthier (omitted some of the butter and used semi-skimmed milk instead of full-cream) and use up what we had in the fridge/freezer.

Serves 2

White Sauce:
  • 30g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk heated for 1 min in the microwave
  • Handful of mature cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp half-fat creme fraiche
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Some cauliflower and broccoli florets cut into bitesize pieces (original recipe used spinach)
  • Knob of butter
  • Some indiscriminate frozen white fish, thawed (original recipe used thick pieces of haddock fillet)

  1. Make a white sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan, then add the flour and cook over a medium heat for 1 minute until the flour and butter have combined to make a roux.
  2. Gradually pour in the warm milk, little by little, and beat until smooth after each addition.
  3. Bring to the boil, stirring, and simmer very gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, blanch the vegetables in boiling water, drain, set aside and keep warm.
  5. Heat the grill to high. Put the small knob of butter in a gratin dish and melt under the grill.
  6. Add the fish pieces and coat them in the melted butter, then season.
  7. Cook the fish under the grill for 2-4 minutes until half cooked (this will depend on how thick your fish is).
  8. Lift the fish onto a plate and keep the grill on.
  9. Spoon the cooked vegetables over the base of the gratin dish and put the fish on top.
  10. Stir half of the cheese and all of the creme fraiche into the sauce and season to taste with cayenne and/or mustard, salt and pepper.
  11. Pour the sauce over the fish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and more cayenne.
  12. Slide the dish back under the grill for a further 4-5 mins until the gratin is golden brown and bubbling.


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