Prep Time: 5 + 5 minutes infusing milk
Cooking Time: +- 25 minutes
Serves: 2
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Cheesy Haddock BakeThis Cheesy Smoked Fish Bake is a super midweek meal and so simple to prepare. Raw chunks of smoked hake/haddock covered in a luscious cheese sauce and baked until golden and bubbling. I serve this with an asparagus and watercress salad dressed with lemon. Some garlic bread on the side is a must to mop up the sauce…

Cheesy Smoked Fish Bake
Ingredients:
400 g thick smoked hake or haddock fillets, cut into chunks
1 T (15 ml) butter
Sauce:
450 ml milk
1 small onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 black peppercorns
50 g butter
50 ml cake flour
1 c (250 ml) mature cheddar or gruyere
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
3 T (45 ml) chopped chives

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200 Deg C.
Divide the chunks of fish between 2 small buttered baking dishes or 1 medium dish.
Place the milk, bay, onion and peppercorns in a saucepan and heat until steaming (not boiling). Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 5 minutes then strain the milk into a jug and discard the onions etc.
Heat the butter in the same saucepan until melted then add the flour to make a roux. Add the milk and whisk continuously until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the cheese and mix until well combined and melted into the sauce. add the chives and season to taste.
Pour the thick sauce over the fish making sure it’s well covered. Top with extra cheese if you like.
Bake for + – 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
Serve with a salad of blanched asparagus and watercress and dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
Mop up the sauce with garlic bread.

Variations:

Add some baby peas, blanched brussel sprouts or broccoli to the dish.
Replace some of the fish with prawns or mussels – they are lovely in a cheesy sauce too.
Add white wine to the sauce by reducing the milk to 300 ml and simply add 150 ml dry white wine to the roux.
Make a gratinated topping with 1/4 c (60 ml) bread crumbs and 1/4 c (60 ml) grated cheese for extra crunch.

{I used undyed smoked hake from Ocean Jewels in Woodstock}

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