Sunday, 16 January 2011

Parsleyed Fish Gratin

Sarah at Maison Cupcake has started a new Blog event called 'Forever Nigella'. The idea is we cook a dish from one of Nigella Lawson's books every month. This is not difficult as I have all of her books. A great idea Sarah and thank you for organising.

I chose Parsleyed Fish Gratin from Nigella Christmas. It is a regular in my house. A very easy fish pie which saves all the mashing of potatoes and can be made in advance. It is a tasty everyday dish but would also grace  a table for guests as it is just so pretty

I have made a few changes to the recipe. Nothing new in that as I am always fiddling. There is not one thing wrong with the original but I have just added a couple of things which I prefer or are just more convenient. I added salmon to the fish mix as I like the flavour. It also adds an attractive colour and makes it more pleasing to the eye.
I use semi skimmed milk for the sauce rather than full fat for the simple reason it's what I have in the house.
I add onions pepper corns and bay leaves to the milk the night before making (if I am organised enough) as it does give the sauce a lovely flavour. I always do this with any roux sauce. Well worth it.
 I also use pale sherry rather than vermouth as I have a couple of huge bottles to use up and I do like the flavour in cooking. It works very well. So because of these changes I get to print the recipe.

Serves 6

Parsleyed Fish Gratin

For the Milk Infusion

One raw onion peeled and quartered
About twelve black pepercorns
Two bay leaves ripped

 For the Sauce

50gms/2oz butter
50gms/20z flour
1x15ml tablespoon pale sherry vermouth or white wine
1/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
1/2 teasp maldon salt or 1/4 teasp table salt
1/4 teasp Dijon mustard
350 mls/12 fluid oz  milk
1 1/2 15 ml tablespoons finely chopped chives or 1 spring onion finely chopped
75 gms/3 oz chopped parsley

For the Fish Mix and Potato Topping

2 medium sized (400gms/14oz total) baking potatoes, unpeeled
One Kilo/2.2 lbs of fish to include salmon, white fish fillet and smoked cod or haddock

For the Glaze
1 teasp garlic oil
25gms/1oz butter
Good grinding of black pepper
A little dried parsley


Add the onion, black peppercorns and bay leaves to the milk and leave to soak overnight or for a few hours.then strain to use with the sauce.

Make a white sauce by first melting the butter in a large saucepan and then addi the flour and stir for a minute or so.
Then off the heat whisk in the sherry/vermouth/wine, mace/nutmeg, salt and mustard.

Next whisk in the milk and put the pan back on the heat continuing to whisk the sauce as it thickens. Once the sauce appears to be getting thicker, keep cooking it for a further 3 minutes until it becomes very thick.

Take it off the heat and stir in the chives and parsley then decant into your gratin dish (mine is a round shallow casserole about 26cm x5cm/10 inches x inches)

Once cool you can leave this dish covered in the fridge overnight or up to three days.

When ready to cook preheat your oven 200.C/400.F/Gas 6. and place a baking sheet in . Take your gratin dish out of the fridge and uncover it.

Slice the unpeeled potatoes as thin as you possibly can.

Scissor or cut all the  fish into large bite-sized pieces and mix into the parsley sauce

Layer the potatoes in concentric circles over the fish and parsley sauce overlapping half way across each potato slice as you go around the dish.

Melt the garlic oil and butter in a small pan or in a dish in the microwave, stir in a little dried parsley then paint the circles of potato with this mixture

Grind some fresh black pepper over the top and place in the oven to cook for 50-60 minutes. The top should be golden and the underneath of the gratin bubbling


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love Nigella. That gratin looks exquisite!



Grannymar said...

My mother would have loved this dish. Alas at the first mention of a 'roux sauce' I am out the nearest window! It is good to be back online again.

Brownieville Girl said...

Great idea to infuse the milk overnight!

Beautiful looking dish.

Unknown said...

looks terribly naughty granny... but sooooo good!... I totally forgot to dedicate my post to the Forever Nigella round up... oh well, next month x

Mary said...

I love fish pie, but it's not that common here. Guess I'll have to fix that and make my own! I love the idea of infusing the milk the day before, though I fear I'll never be that organised.

Nickki said...

That looks so delicious, I love fish pie. I often make Nigella's nursery fish pie but I haven't tried this one yet. I like the idea of the sliced potatoes on top, saves a lot of work which appeals to me :-)

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Wonderful winter warmer, I would love to eat this for dinner this week. Perfect adaptation of ingredients too, some good swaps there to work around what's in the cupboard.

Thanks so much for taking part in the first Forever Nigella and I hope to see you take part in future months.

Chele said...

Looks like a great dish. I'm loving seeing what everyone has come up with for this new blog event.

Cynthia said...

Ummm, this looks and sounds delicious.

Sarah said...

Has to be said that a good ol' fashioned fish pie is unbeatable. Your images are rather wonderful Brenda, have you taken up professional food photography? Hope your well. S xxx

Domestic Goddess Wannabe said...

My son is a massive fan of fish pie so I'm keen to make this for him - thanks for sharing!

lo81 said...

I love the way you arranged the potatoes! Your pie looks delicious!

Gloria Baker said...

I love this dish!!! huggs!!! gloria

Aoife Mc said...

Wowza - this gratin looks incredible. I've never tried any Nigella recipes so this would be a great place to start. Thanks Granny!