Posted on September 20, 2013 There have been 0 comments
Recipe for the Weekend
This week's Recipe for the Weekend is taken from one of our new Autumn titles – Mac ‘n’ Cheese by Laura Washburn. It seems that we’ve all had to put the heating on this week and hunt out our coats and umbrellas; so now that autumn has truly arrived, the yummy pasta bakes in this book will satisfy those warm, comfort food cravings! The recipe that we are sharing with you today is a delicious version of the classic dish, with smoked haddock, spinach and nutmeg.
Smoked Haddock & Spinach Macaroni Cheese
Delicate smoked haddock and wilted spinach are a classic combination that needs nothing more than a light creamy sauce spiced with nutmeg to make the flavours sing, resulting in an impressive dish indeed. Lovely for a light dinner or even a weekend brunch.
a handful of coarse sea salt
500 g/1 lb. macaroni
600 g/11⁄4 lbs. smoked haddock fillets
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
500 g/1 lb. fresh spinach
15 g/1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
600 ml/21⁄2 cups double/heavy cream
a pinch of grated nutmeg
200 g/12⁄3 cups grated medium Cheddar
50 g/1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the coarse sea salt, then let the water return to a rolling boil. Add the macaroni, stir well and cook according to the package instructions until very tender. Stir periodically to prevent the macaroni from sticking together. When cooked, drain, rinse well under running water and let drip dry in a colander.
Arrange the haddock fillets in a microwaveable dish in a single layer, skin side down, and pour over just enough water to cover. Cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and microwave on high for 4–5 minutes, or until the flesh flakes easily. Flake the fish, discard the skin and cooking liquid and remove any bones. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a deep frying pan/skillet. Add half the spinach and cook over high heat, stirring often, until wilted. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then transfer to a chopping board and spread out to cool. Repeat for the remaining spinach, then chop all the spinach coarsely and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Preheat the grill/broiler to medium–hot.
In the same large skillet/frying pan, melt the butter and heat the remaining oil. Add the shallot and cook over high heat for 2–3 minutes until just golden, stirring occasionally. Add the cream, nutmeg and a good pinch of salt and bring just to the boil, then reduce the heat.
Add the haddock and cheese to the spinach in the bowl and pour over the hot cream mixture. Stir well to melt the cheese, then add the macaroni and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Transfer the macaroni mixture to a baking dish and spread evenly. Top with a good grinding of black pepper and sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Grill/broil for 5–10 minutes until the top is crunchy and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Mac 'n' Cheese by Laura Washburn is available here.
Have a lovely weekend everybody and happy cooking!
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