Chunky flakes of haddock encased in a smooth, smoky sauce. Loaded with rustic leeks and butter beans, topped with golden, crunchy parmesan.
I Love good friday. Its one of two days during the year that i know for sure I won’t be working. The other been christmas day. Bars, restaurants and cafe’s the length and breadth of the country are forced to close due to the fact they serve alcohol. This gives hard-working restaurant chefs the chance to relax and put the feet up.
I have been cooking today though. Traditionally your suppose to eat fish on good friday. I’m not sure where this tradition came from. I bet when christ was nailed to the cross didn’t turn around to the disciples and say, listen lads no eating fish on good Fridays. It’s definitely a man-made tradition…maybe the first pope was in the fish business. Anyway, being a good catholic it’s a tradition I follow and a good excuse to eat some fish.
This recipe is like a fishy version of a mac and cheese. In fact if haven’t got any butter beans you could use pasta instead. Penne or something similar should work just as well. The key to this is poaching your haddock in the milk which infuses it with an aromatic smokey flavour. Then you use the milk to make the sauce. The same as if you were cooking a fish pie.
To spare yourself a bit of washing up, heat the milk in the microwave till its nearly at boiling point. Then pour it over the haddock and cover with cling film. It will happily cook and infuse while you get on with the rest of the dish. When I was preparing the leeks for this dish I was reminded that they do have a season, and we must be close to the end of it due to the hard stalky bit I found in the middle. Ther very much a winter vegetable and are at their best in January / february. So discard this hard bit before you chop them up…nice and chunky as they have a habit of disappearing into the sauce. I like to call leeks and spinach the disappearing vegetables. They like to disintegrate to nothing when you cook them.
This recipe makes six good portions with some leftover for seconds…whack a salad together and you’re good to go. Only wish I bought some beer yesterday to wash it down with…..