A short series of fishy ideas – 1 Creamy coley gratin

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Creamy fish gratin

It might be considered a bit boring, but I love anything from the cod family. Thick, flakey and meaty roasted cod crisp battered haddock with chips – thanks to a stint living in Yorkshire haddock’s still my preferred chippy choice.

Just typing those words is making me hungry – not helped by being in smelling distance of one of the country’s best chippies.

But we all need to get used to alternatives to cod and haddock and the supermarkets now seem to be making coley much more available. It’s in the same family as cod and has the same meaty texture – I think it’s got a richer flavour than cod too.

I’ve been using this quick gratin method for fish for a couple of months now and it’s become a regular favourite. It came about as an idea for coley, but I’ve recently used it with a few lemon sole fillets which was lovely too.

I seem to fighting a losing battle to maintain the old racing snake figure so it’s a healthy one too with low fat creme fraiche providing the creamy element in place of a traditional cheese sauce.

First get the oven on to preheat to 200 degC. In a medium pan reduce a good glug of white wine (I use vermouth) to about half its original volume over a high heat. Turn down the heat and add about half a pot of creme fraiche (about 200g I think). Stir this as it warms through. Once warm add a small handful of grated strong cheese, some parsley if you have it and black pepper. Taste before salting as the cheese may have down the job for you.

Put the fish into a roasting dish and pour the sauce over the top. Make some breadcrumbs (or buy them) by blitzing up a crust or two of bread with some Parmesan and a little lemon juice. This goes over the top of the fish dish and it needs about 12-15 mins in the oven until this sauce is bubbling, fish is just cooked through and topping is golden brown. If the fish is cook before the top is browned and crispy, whack it under a hot grill for a few mins.

Perfect with a few buttered new potatoes and some spring veg.

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Categories: Fish, Healthy, Student


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