Let me warn you: thought tasty, this is a test recipe. I’m trying to recreate a wonderful dish we had at the restaurant at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool. As it stands, it’s tasty, but it’s not the dish we had in Liverpool. That’s why I’m putting it forward to you: asking for your judgement, and advice. What I’m looking for is a wonderfully creamy, slightly cheesy sauce, with soft pieces of smoked fish, a bit of peas, and leeks, topped with baby potatoes. The potatoes were quite long, so I think they might have been Charlotte potatoes. They were slightly browned on the top.
As I said, this recipe is not as good as it can be. So please take a minute to look at the recipe and the notes at the end of the recipe, and let me know if you have any suggestions on how to make it better. Much appreciated!
Smoked Haddock and Potato Bake
SOURCE: Reconstruction of a meal we had at the restaurant at Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
PREPARATION TIME: 5 min
COOKING TIME: 40 min
SERVES: 2 – 3
400 g baby new potatoes, sliced longitudinally
1 dessert spoon butter
1 medium leek
360 g smoked haddock
150 g peas
1 bay leaf
milk (enough to cover the fish)
freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
2 dl milk (can use the milk that the fish cooked in)
150 g cheddar cheese
It’s worth to prepare everything in the beginning, because everything happens pretty quickly here.
1. Gently saute the leek in butter until soft. This will take about 5 minutes.
2. Add fish, peas, bay leaf and milk. Cover and bring to boil, then simmer gently until the fish is nearly cooked.
III. Cheese sauce
1. Mix the same amount of flour and butter together in a pan. Then, put the pan on the hob and stir until the butter is melted, creating a paste of flour and butter. (This way, it will not turn into a lumpy mess. Don’t worry, the flour won’t burn. Your pan is not hot enough yet, and when it does get hot, the butter will have melted and that will stop it from burning.)
2. Add milk, and let it heat. (I re-used the milk in which the fish cooked, which made for a fantastic cheese sauce!) Then, add the cheese, Keep stirring, and cook until you get the desired consistency. Mine was quite runny.
Put a row of sliced potatoes at the bottom of an ovenproof dish, and pour some cheese sauce over it. Put some filling over the potatoes, then another layer of potatoes, etc. until you’ve used up all the ingredients. Finish with a layer of potatoes, and pour the cheese sauce over it.
V. Serving suggestion
Serve with some steamed cauliflower, green beans or/and some crusty bread to mop up the juices.
Tasty, BUT. But that’s not IT. Definitely needs more work. See notes.
Not creamy enough. Maybe use a mixture of cream and cheese sauce, or cream only.
Fish dry. – Try and buy better fish, or/and cook it for less time. Since it will cook in the oven, it doesn’t need to be fully cooked before goes into the bake. I think.
Use less leek.
Use less peas.
Use less cheese.
New baby potatoes are not the correct potatoes. Seek out Charlotte potatoes, and parboil them for a few minutes before assembling the bake.