Smoked Fish and Artichoke Gratin

This is not a hugely well known vegetable, when I bought it the girl in the shop had to examine it as she had never seen it before in her life! Her words! Coming into the end of their season but should be around for another few weeks to try this recipe. The sweet earthy flavour of the artichoke pairs beautifully with the smoked fish – I used Coley and was delighted to be able to get a huge piece for less than €5!. You can use any smoked fish you like and the dish is so full of flavour that a little goes a long way. The goodness of the fish combined with lots of Thiamin, useful amounts of niacin and iron in the ‘choke make this a good little dish to have on standby.

Oven at 200C
1lb of Jerusalem artichokes
1lb of potatoes – I used a lovely French variety Franceline which make delicious salads or gratins
150gr frozen peas
400ml cream
200mls milk
1 bay leaf
1 big clove garlic
1lb smoked fish, skinned, boned and cut into 2cm cubes
Optional 2oz breadcrumbs for the top

Peel the artichokes and pop them into a bowl of water with some lemon juice to prevent discolouring
Peel the potatoes
Slice both finely using a mandolin if you have one (Be careful and use the guard!)
Put milk and cream into a large pot, add the bay leaf, the peeled clove of garlic and tip in the potatoes and artichoke
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat and cover so that they cook gently for about 15 minutes. Take lid off and cook until they are tender and the milk cream has reduced a little
Season well with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf and garlic clove.
Lighly butter your gratin dish(es)
Lay a layer of the fish cubes
Pour over a layer of the frozen peas
Pour over the artichoke and potato mixture spreading out evenly.
Tip in enough liquid to come of the even with the layer of veg
Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs if using and top with some pats of butter
Place on a baking sheet to catch any leakage and into the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling

I serve this with a simple salad dressed with olive oil and lots of salt and pepper and it is the perfect mid week supper or casual weekend meal.

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