Award Winning Scottish Fish:
Smoked Plaice, Leek & Cheese Gratin
with Chervil & Lemon
Regular readers of Lavender and Lovage will know of my love of fish and seafood, in fact anything fishy (or in a shell) gets my vote. And, many of you may remember that I always buy my fish whenever I can from my friend John, over at Delish Fish; so when he contacted me recently and told me that he and his friends and colleagues at Amity Fish Co had won an award for their trio of smoked fish (at the Grampion Food Awards), I was not in the least bit surprised. The winning trio of fish comprises smoked haddock, smoked hake and smoked plaice, and John very kindly sent me some samples to try, along with some hake, fish pie mix, smoked hake and smoked plaice, and just in time for the Easter weekend.
Although I was keen to try the trio of fish, in a fish pie, it was the smoked plaice that grabbed my attention, as I don’t think I have ever seen smoked plaice before. I’ve enjoyed many a “breaded plaice and chips” in my time, and it was my paternal grandmother’s favourite dish to order when we visited a fish restaurant – but, smoked? No, I’ve never seen it before, so I decided to try this smoked delicacy for lunch one day. My first instinct was to make some “goujons” – a posh fish finger by any other name, and I will share my recipe for them soon; but, it’s my recipe for Smoked Plaice, Leek & Cheese Gratin with Chervil & Lemon I’m sharing today, perfect for lunch or supper on a cold spring evening.
This recipe is perfect for any smoked fish, and not just the delicious smoked plaice I was sent to sample; it’s very easy to assemble and the milk that the fish is poached in is also used in the savoury, eggy custard that the leeks and fish are baked in. I served the gratin with a baby gem lettuce salad, cherry tomatoes and some carrot salad for a light lunch, but, just swap the salad for steamed spuds and maybe some chard, kale or spinach, and you the makings of perfect supper dish. Make sure you have a generous wedge of lemon, and if chervil is a problem to source, then use parsley or chives instead. The chervil adds a mild and very pleasant aniseed flavour to the gratin which is perfect with fish, but especially smoked fish.
With a big thanks to John and all the team at Delish Fish and Amity Fish Co for my big box of prime Scottish fish; I will be sharing more recipes using this fish over the next few weeks, so do pop back. Karen