LENT calls for some invention with fish. This year, inspiration
comes from a carb-heavy dish of cheese and potato. My
Smoked haddock tartiflette uses, instead of the
usual bacon lardons, fish, and Brie cheese.
750g (1.5 lb) new potatoes
300ml (10 fl. oz) crème fraïche
90g (3 oz) butter
320g (11 oz) smoked haddock
2 leeks, and 1 stick celery
handful of chopped chives
175g (6 oz) Brie cheese
First, heat the oven to 400°F/ 200°C/Gas 6, then halve the new
potatoes to about 1.5cm or half an inch in size, keeping the skins
on, and parboil in salted water.
Put the crème fraïche, half the butter, and the haddock into a
pan, and heat gently for 5 minutes to poach the fish, leaving it to
Place a flameproof casserole large enough to take all the
ingredients on the hob, and heat the butter with a glug of olive
oil. Peel off the outer layer of the leeks; top and tail; wash;
chop, along with the celery; and fry together in the casserole
until soft. Drain and add the potatoes, giving everything a good
stir. Increase the heat a little, and brown the vegetables, which
will take a few minutes.
Flake the fish (discard the skins), and add to the casserole
potato mix. Stir in the crème fraïche, the chopped chives, and a
dash of white pepper. Slice the cheese in half, horizontally, and
place the two wedges on top of the potatoes, rind side up. Bake for
20 minutes, until brown and bubbly. Serve with peas.
Before the trend departs entirely: Salted caramel
120g (4 oz) wholemeal flour
120g (4 oz) unsalted butter
60g (2 oz) golden syrup
60g (2 oz) soft light brown sugar
120g (4 oz) caster sugar
250ml (8 fl. oz) single cream
1 dessertspoon sea (not table) salt
1 teaspoon cornflour
3 eggs, separated
Make the pastry: whizz the flour and half the butter together in
a food processor to resemble breadcrumbs. With the motor running
slowly, add 1 tablespoon or so of very cold water to make it into a
ball. Roll in flour, then cover with clingfilm and chill for at
least an hour in the fridge. Roll out, and line a 22cm (9 in.) tart
tin, and chill for a further 30 minutes. Bake blind at
400°F/200°C/Gas 6 for 15 minutes, then uncover for a further 10.
Reduce the heat to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
In a pan, melt together the remaining butter, syrup, brown
sugar, and half the caster sugar, simmering and swirling for a few
minutes. Take off the heat, add the cream and salt, and stir to
settle. Whisk together the egg yolks and cornflour, pour the
caramel sauce on top, mix, then pour into the pastry case.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then add
one third of the remaining caster sugar, then another third. Spread
them over the filling in clumps, sprinkle with the last of the
sugar, and return to the oven for about 20 minutes, until brown and
crunchy on top.