I’m delighted to kick off the weekend’s live theatre cookery demos at the Malton Food Lovers’ Festival 2015. Both of Saturday’s recipes pay homage to Justin Staal’s fabulous smoked produce which he creates at his smokehouse over the wolds from Malton, near Beverley.
Justin is rightly renowned for his fish and meat products which have won numerous awards. He gets just the right balance so the true flavour of the ingredients speaks for itself rather than being masked by too much smoke – the downfall of some smokehouses….
In this recipe I’ve married Justin’s smoked North Sea haddock with Yorkshire Blue cheese from Shepherds Purse Creamery near Thirsk.
You can join our behind-the-scenes Smoke signals gourmet food trail to see Justin at work – just click on ‘our trails’ page to find out more. We can make other dates available too in addition to the ones listed.
Yorkshire Blue smoked haddock mornay
300g natural dye smoked haddock, skinned
200g baby spinach leaves
250ml whipping cream
100ml ready made fish stock (True Foods near Ripon do a brilliant one)
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
A glug of dry sherry
Small leek, white part only
50g breadcrumbs (2 slices of white bread)
75g Yorkshire Blue cheese
Generous handful of parsley, dill and chives, mixed
Knob of butter
Freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 200C. Wilt the spinach, drain and cool. Finely chop the leek and sauté in a little butter. Set aside
In a sauté pan reduce the cream, fish stock and sherry by half until it begins to thicken. Add the wholegrain mustard and the cooked leeks.
Check the haddock for pin bones and dice into 2-3 cm cubes.
Whizz the bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. Finely chop the herbs and add to the breadcrumbs. Set aside. Crumble the Yorkshire Blue cheese and set aside.
Using your hands, squeeze all the liquid out of the spinach. Grate nutmeg over and put a layer of the spinach in the bottom of a gratin dish.
Add the haddock to the cream mixture and cook gently for 3-4 minutes until the fish begins to go opaque. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if required (not the fish is likely to be salty already from the smoking process). Spoon the fish mixture into the dish on top of the spinach layer.
Add the breadcrumbs and herb mix to cover and dot with the blue cheese. Bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden.