Hi there how has your week and how is your weekend so far? This week has been extremely busy for not only me but also the family. Gearing up for Christmas as it is now only 28 nights of sleep away brings the reality home a little too. Well, I won’t talk too much about Christmas as I have a blog post coming soon.
This week though was about celebrating that my wife was offered a job, which is tremendous news. She has changed her life around. She decided to start going to the gym about 18 months ago as wanted to get herself that little bit fitter and that initial decision has come leaps and bounds. Currently undergoing a course to become a physical training instructor, upon her first interview she has been offered the job. Unbelievable news and the kids and I are so proud, well done Bea.
Along with this, we have changed how we eat, not too much but especially around lunchtimes where my wife and I have more salads rather than sandwiches or eating convenience foods. We have also said we will try and incorporate more fish into our meal plans. I know it is easy to say fish fingers or even the good old battered fish from the local chippy but the decision is to have at least the recommended two per week with at least one to be of the oily kind, such as salmon or trout.
However not always so easy with three kids who have healthy eating habits, we are very lucky, but like all kids they have their moments and will quickly turn their noses if it does not seem to their liking.
On this occasion, however, they enjoyed this dish, much to our relief. Maybe it was the cheese sauce that helped or the crispy, scrumptiousness of the sweet potato and courgette rosti.
For me though it was a combination of the whole dish. The rosti, followed by the flaky yet meaty pieces of haddock, an oozy poached egg and velvety cheese sauce made from the poaching liquor.
This dish could easily be made with any other white fish such as cod or Pollock. Using haddock was also a natural choice to ease more fish in our meal plans. Ultimately it is the kids we aim to please the most and as the key to ‘looks good let’s eat’ is our family food for your table I would say tonight’s recipe is now a family favourite.
Poached Haddock with Cheese Sauce
- 4 120 g Skinless haddock fillets
- 200 ml milk
- 100 ml fish stock or half a stock cube
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
Sweet potato and courgette rosti
- 1 medium Sweet Potato peeled and grated
- 2 medium egg lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp. Plain Flour
- 1 medium courgette
- olive oil
- 50 g Plain Flour
- 100 g mature cheddar cheese
Sauté chilli spinach and mushroom
- 100 g Baby spinach
- 100 g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 1/2 medium red onion cut into small dice
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 2 tsp. Chilli flakes
- 4 medium eggs
- 2 tbsp. White wine vinegar
For the rosti
- Place the courgette and sweet potato in a muslin cloth and squeeze out all of the excess water. Place in a large enough bowl and add the egg, flour and a good pinch of salt and pepper. At this point bring a pan of water to a good simmer for the eggs later on.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a little olive oil. Place an eighth of the mixture into the pan in a small bundle and as it starts to fry press down gently until about a cm thick. Repeat three more times and cook for about four minutes either side or until golden brown. Repeat for the other four and keep warm. Keep the pan to the side.
Poaching the haddock
- In a deep-frying pan place the haddock fillets and cover with the milk, stock and add the bay leaf and thyme. Add a pinch of salt and pepper then bring to boil and reduce to a simmer for about four to five minutes. Remove the fish and keep warm and keep the poaching liquid.
Making the sauce
- In a medium sauce pan melt the butter and add the flour and cook for thirty seconds. Add the poaching liquid and stir until smooth and cook for a further minute while stirring. Add the cheese, stir until melted, check the seasoning and remove from the heat and keep warm.
Sauté chilli spinach and mushrooms
- In the same frying pan the rosti’s were cooked in melt the butter over a medium heat and then sauté the mushrooms and onions until just cooked and add the spinach, garlic and chilli flakes. Allow the spinach to wilt, season and keep warm.
Poaching the eggs
- In the simmering water add the vinegar and crack the eggs in one at a time and cook for three minutes, remove and place on a plate with kitchen roll to absorb a little of the water. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
- On warmed plates place a rosti in the middle, top with the sauté spinach, the poached haddock, poached egg and spoon over some of the cheese sauce.