Smokie haddock pots with Montgomery Cheddar

  • for 8 people
  • Takes 35 minutes to make and 20-25 minutes in the oven
  • Easy
An elegant starter containing seasonal ingredients that will impress guests at Christmas or any winter dinner party.

Nutritional info per serving

Per serving: 580kcals, 47g fat (28.9g saturated), 33.3g protein, 5g carbs, 4.7g sugar, 3.2g salt

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800g spinach, washed and large stalks removed
1kg undyed smoked haddock fillet, with skin
400ml milk
600g tomatoes, halved
35g unsalted butter
500ml double cream
200g Montgomery Cheddar, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ fan170°C/gas 5. Put the spinach in a large saucepan, in 2 batches, and place over a medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, until the leaves have just wilted. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess liquid. Roughly chop, put into a bowl and season well. Set aside.
2. Put the haddock in a frying pan with the milk. Bring just to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low and poach gently for 10 minutes, until just cooked. Use a slotted spoon to lift the fish from the milk and, when cool enough to handle, flake into pieces, discarding the skin and any bones. Transfer to 8 x 300ml gratin dishes or a 2.5-litre dish. Discard the milk.
3. Deseed the tomatoes and slice. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a high heat, add the tomatoes and sauté until softened and the cooking juices are reduced. Season and set aside.
4. Add the spinach to the dishes/ dish, followed by the tomatoes. Pour over the cream and top with the grated cheese. Bake in the hot oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.

  • Oaked Bordeaux whites go well with smoked fish, or serve small glasses of cold, dry fino sherry.

From December 2007

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