Smoked Haddock with Spinach

This is a delicious combination, in pies, in roulades and in this dish which has an airy soufflé topping. It can be baked in a large dish, or the mixture divided between individual ovenproof dishes. I often use frozen spinach for this. It is economical and tastes almost as good as fresh. Buy finnan haddock or undyed smoked haddock for the best flavour. Poach it in milk in a frying pan or roasting tin covered with foil. Keep ½ pt / 280 ml cooking liquid for the soufflé mix.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb / 455 g cooked smoked haddock
  • ½ oz / 15 g butter, softened
  • 1 lb / 455 g cooked, well-drained spinach
  • 4–6 eggs

Soufflé Topping

  • 1 oz / 30 g butter
  • 1 oz / 30 g plain flour
  • ½ pt / 280 ml milk
  • 3 eggs

Method

Carefully remove any bones from the smoked haddock. Butter an ovenproof dish or dishes and arrange the spinach on the bottom. Make four or six depressions in the spinach and carefully slide an egg into each. Arrange the smoked haddock on top. To make the topping, melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 3–4 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring all the time to stop any lumps forming. When all the milk has been added, let the sauce cook for another few minutes. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks into the sauce. Whisk the egg whites until firm, and carefully fold into the sauce. Spread it over the smoked haddock, making sure that it touches the edges of the dish. Bake in the top half of a preheated oven at 190°C / 375°F / Mark 5 for 10–15 minutes, until the top is risen and golden. The eggs inside should be just lightly set.