F is for Foodie Friday

Hello all! The weekend is nearly here! I do apologise for my enthusiasm as I know not everyone works Mon-Fri and I know a lot of people don’t wish to do that but personally I love having the weekends off and I’m very lucky that the Boyo and I have basically the same working hours (although he ends up doing emails/marking etc most nights at home).

Anyway this Foodie Friday I’m going to share one the recipes that I always get compliments on when I make it. I do not have any photos but I will update this post the next time I make this and add some photos.

I’m not a big seafood person, I’m trying to eat more fish but I am timid, however smoked haddock is very tasty and this dish is a lovely Friday night treat. It doesn’t have any vegetables in it. I think it is perfect like this for me but if you wanted to add some veggie goodness then grilled asparagus or garden peas on the side might go quite nicely.

This recipe is not a strict one – my measurements for this are not proper measurements, it is a definite use your senses and instinct type dish.

So without further ado….

Creamy Smoked Haddock Pasta (quantities mentioned will serve 2-4 people)

Ingredients

2 Smoked Haddock fillets, boneless and preferably with skin off (*see tip below if skin on)
Half small tub of Crème Fraiche (I use half fat)
300ml milk (I use semi skimmed)
Butter (a large knob should do)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Mustard – I use Sainsbury’s Dijon mustard with Provençal herbs it works really well with this dish.
( http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/#/sainsburys-price-comparison/condiments/sainsburys_taste_the_difference_dijon_mustard_provence_herbs_180g.html)
Philadelphia or another soft cheese- a couple of tablespoons
Parmesan – grated
Pasta – whichever you fancy, I’ve used spinach tagliatelle, penne, wild garlic pasta all work well. In my cupboard right now it is tricolour twists.

Method

1. Place the couple of knobs of butter in a large frying pan, when it has started to melt add half the milk and the garlic. Place the 2 fillets of fish in using tongs. Be gentle with the fish as you don’t want it to break up quite yet. Add the rest of the milk – it should be almost covering the fish but not quite. If at this point it doesn’t look or smell buttery then add a little more butter – I recently discover lurpack garlic butter and used some that.

2. Place your pasta in a pot of boiling water and let it cook. I’m not even going to suggest quantities, I always make too much so I’ll leave that to your discretion.

3. The mixture should be gently simmering, after a few minutes flip the fish around and leave a little longer. (Tip if you have skin on fish leave the skin side down to simmer for a few minutes, when you turn it over it should be softened enough that with the tongs and a knife you will be able to get the skin off easily. Don’t worry about it being perfect a little skin does no harm).

4. Every few minutes turn the fish, once the fish is nearing cooked it will begin to flake apart. Use a wooden spoon or something similar to gently break the fish apart and stir it around in the milk mixture.

5. Once it has broken apart into nice flakes it is time to turn the milky mixture into the tasty sauce. Add dollops of crème fraiche at a time and stir, then Philadelphia and a couple of teaspoons of the mustard. Give it all a good stir, if it is too thick then add a little more milk and if it is too thin turn up the heat to get it to simmer and reduce down a bit more. Don’t be afraid to play with ingredients and have little tastes so you get the flavour and consistency that you prefer.

6. Season with crushed black pepper and a little salt and then grate parmesan over the fish and sauce. It should be looking a good consistency and smelling fishy but tasty about now. Leave to simmer until the pasta is cooked.

7. Once the pasta is cooked drain it and add it to your fish and sauce, give it a really good stir so it coats the pasta evenly.

8. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan over it and perhaps a slice of garlic & rosemary focaccia on the side?

I hope you enjoy this dish! I am on a mission this weekend to try and cook the contents of my freezer before our big house move on Thursday. It won’t be difficult to transfer the stuff in our fridge or cupboards but it would be far easier if I just cooked the freezer goods. So on the menu it looks like a beef curry, lamb chops, some hash browns, quorn and a random assortment of vegetables. Perhaps not all at once!

We get the keys to our new house today so I’m really looking forward to finishing work (this post has been constructed during my lunch break which is just as well as thinking about that pasta makes me really hungry!) and having a look at the place again. I’ve already got a good idea about where our furnishings are going but it will be good to have another feel of the place. Tomorrow we are going to go and give it a good clean so it is all set for Thursday. Exciting stuff, our new rural life is just around the corner now!

I hope you all have a Merry Weekend! I know for many it is a long weekend with the bank holiday on Monday (not me alas!) so do any of you have any exciting plans? I hope the sun shines regardless!

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