A master recipe which we use for almost any round fish, such as cod, pollock, ling, haddock or grey sea mullet.
This perfect one-pot dish can be cooked ahead and reheated – just make sure there’s lots of cheese sauce, otherwise, it’ll be dry and uninteresting instead of juicy and unctuous. Mussels, shrimps, periwinkles or prawns can be added to make for a more elaborate and expensive version. Buttered leeks, piperonata, sautéed mushrooms or tomato fondue are other options – simply put a tablespoon or two either on top of the fish or underneath it in the gratin dish.
Cod, hake or haddock with dill & pangratatto
- 1.1kg cod, hake, haddock or grey sea mullet fillets
- flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 15g butter
- 600ml milk
- approx 50g roux, (made by blending 25g softened butter with 25g plain flour in a small bowl)
- ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
- 150–175g grated Cheddar cheese or
- 75g grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp chopped dill (optional)
For the pangrattato
- 50-75ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 50g soft, white breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
- To make the pangrattato, combine all of the ingredients in a little bowl and set aside.
- Skin the fish and cut it into 6 or 8 portions. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Place the bay leaves in a lightly buttered sauté pan and lay the pieces of fish on top. Cover with the milk and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until the fish changes colour from translucent to opaque. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
- Bring the milk back to the boil and whisk in the roux to thicken the sauce to a light coating consistency. Stir in the mustard and two-thirds of the grated cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the dill, if using.
- Return the fish to the pan and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, followed by the pangrattato.
- Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is heated through and the top is golden brown and crisp. Serve with a salad of organic leaves.
Extracted from One Pot Feeds All by Darina Allen (Kyle Books). Photograph by Lizzie Mayson.