Monday, 8 April 2013

Smoked Haddock Soufflé


Whereas most of my life these days is fueled by vegetarian food occasionally I do make something that includes fish, almost always when someone is dining with me. This soufflé can very easily be made omitting the smoked haddock and increasing the amount of cheese, or a mushroom version by sauteing 400g of sliced mushrooms (wild would be good) in a little olive oil until they take on a decent amount of colour, or an onion version by sweating down 2 large onions sliced, in a little butter until they too have caramelised a little.

For this soufflé you will need,
400g undyed smoked haddock
50g of unsalted butter
50g of plain flour
450ml of millk
140g of gruyere cheese grated
3 egg yolks
7 egg whites
1 teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
2 bay leaves

Begin by buttering 6 small or 4 larger (11cm by 6cm) soufflé ramekins. Butter them liberally and set to one side.
Poach the fish in the milk.. Place the fish, milk and bay leaves in a pan and bring the milk up to a simmer, switch off the heat and leave for 5 minutes, covered with a lid. Strain the fish, being careful to reserve the liquid. Remove the skin from the fish and carefully flake the fish into large flakes.
Place the butter in a saucepan on a low heat, when the butter has melted add the flour and stir, cook for a minute or two before adding the milk from poaching the fish. Bring the mix up to a simmer, whisking as it heats up in order to avoid lumps. Should you find you have a lump or two, vigorous whisking as the sauce thickens should deal with them. The sauce is quite thick so stir gently while you simmer the sauce for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for a minute or two before whisking in the egg yolks and most of the cheese, I reserve about 20g to sprinkle on the top just prior to cooking.
Switch the oven on to 200C.
Whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice until you have soft peaks. Gently fold in a third of the egg whites, then add the remaining whisked eggs whites and fold in very gently to avoid losing any more of the air that you have whisked in, than necessary. Fold in the fish and transfer the mix to the buttered ramekins, Fill almost to the top, sprinkle on the remaining cheese and bake in a hot oven for 18 to 20 minutes. They should be only just cooked in the centre so keep an eye on them, since ovens do vary a little. Serve immediately. I find placing the souffés in the oven just as people are called to the table for a small starter works well. The soufflés will in fact be perfectly fine for 5 minutes or so before placing in the oven.

Notes:
This recipe makes enough for 6 as a starter or 4 as a main course and of course can be cooked in a larger soufflé dish, the cooking time will need to be extended just a little, around 5 minutes.
I usually heat up a baking tray in the oven while I am doing the preparation and place the soufflés on this in order to have immediate heat transfer to the base.
Smoked haddock is itself salty so taste the poaching liquor in order to determine how much seasoning you need.
Souffle's can be allowed to cool completely, they will lose a great deal of height but they can be sliced and placed in an ovenproof dish with a little thin bechamel sauce poured over and reheated in a hot oven for 25 minutes before serving. This is a different dish obviously but it is an excellent way of using up any cooked soufflés that you have left over.

2 comments:

  1. We can't get smoked haddock here so it would be smoked cod. Would that work? Steve would probably love this recipe. Cheers for sharing :)

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    1. Smoked cod would work very well, good to hear from you, best wishes, Tôbi.

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