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Thursday 21 July 2011

Sluttishly Savory: Poached smoked haddock, mornay sauce and pesto mash

There's a little bit of me that simply adores it when I come back to a home-cooked meal. And there's another bit of me that just loves to cook my mister a nice meal after a hard day. But, I have to admit, it's the cooking together that makes me happiest of all.

This is a little something-something that we cooked up over the weekend. The pesto mash was all him, the sauce was my creation (I love a good bit of sauce!) and the fish, well, that pretty much takes care of itself. This is damn simple, damn quick and damn tasty to boot! All the more time for romance which, after all, is what cooking together is all about.

You'll need:
  • 2 portions of fresh smoked haddock
  • 3/4 of a pint of milk
  • 2 baking potatoes
  • Two tablespoons of red pesto
  • Knob of butter
  • Handful of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of grated Gruyere cheese
  • Tenderstem broccoli

Make it!
  • As they take the longest, peel and chop your potatoes and get them on the boil. Don't forget to add a pinch of salt to the water to retain their colour.
  • Pour roughly 1/2 a pint of milk into a cold deep frying pan and bring to the boil. Just before boiling, lay your fish fillets in the milk. They should be just covered but not swimming. The exact amount of milk will depend on the depth of your pan and the size of your fillets (ooh, err, Missus!)
  • Get your steamer ready for that tenderstem broccoli. Get the water boiling but add the broccoli just five minutes before serving. Remember: floppy vegetables are a sin.
  • Make your sauce: a mornay sauce is a simple bechamel with the added ingredient of grated cheese. We used Gruyere, but you can use whatever you please!
  • Melt a knob of butter in a hot, heavy-based pan.
  • Remove from the heat when it starts to bubble, and add a handful of flour. Mix. You're looking for a thick, yellow consistency; but not lumpy. Add a bit more flour if necessary.
  • Whilst still off the heat, add your cup of milk. Return to the heat then add the grated cheese. Mix continually until you have a sauce.
  • Your potatoes will be about ready - if in doubt stick a sharp knife in them. If they slide off the knife without leaving any starchy residue, they're ready.
  • Lightly mash your potatoes then add the pesto. mash again to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  • Serve on a hot plate and devour sitting next to your most favourite person.

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