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Fish Gratin - Norwegian Recipe

February 15, 2018

 

Tender flaky cod baked in a creamy white sauce with macaroni, shallots, garlic, cheese, fresh herbs and nutmeg, topped with bread crumbs - the perfect way to get your kids to eat fish, and adults love it too.

 

Growing up in Norway, we got served fish 5 days a week. Fish cakes (patties), fish balls, fish pudding, plucked fish, fish gratin, steamed fish, seared fish... you name it, we ate it. If my dad came home late in the evening from a fishing trip and we were already sleeping, they would wake us up so we could eat the fish completely fresh, steamed and served with the liver and roe (called Mølje when served like this in Norway). For years after leaving home, I refused to eat fish. But now a days, I miss those fish dinners a lot. 

 

There are so many things you can serve with fish gratin. The most common side dishes are boiled potatoes (you peal them after they are boiled in lightly salted water), or mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables of various kinds or raw shredded carrots mixed with a little white vinegar and sugar. You can also serve with bacon pieces or melted butter.

 

Here is how I make fish gratin:

 

1. Add water to two pots, one to steam 600 grams cod, one to boil 2 dl. (3/4 cup) macaroni. Add a pinch of salt into both pots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Once the water boils for the macaroni, add the macaroni and boil for 10 minutes before draining. 

 

Once the water for the cod boils, remove the pot from the heat and add the cod fillets. Let sit in the hot water for five to ten minutes depending on the size - (they turn white when they are done), then move them to a plate and pull them into bite size pieces. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Add 45 grams (3 1/2 tbsp.) butter to a pot and sauté two chopped shallots on medium high temperature until translucent. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and sauté for another minute. Add 40 grams (3 tbsp.) flour while stirring constantly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Add 5 dl. (a little more than 2 cups or 17 oz.) of whole milk and stir until there are no lumps. Bring to a boil while stirring, then reduce the heat to low and add 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper.

 

Add 3 egg yokes to the sauce and stir well to combine. Then add 1/2 cup grated parmesan to the sauce.  Let simmer on low while doing the next steps. 

 

5. Chop 2 green onions, 18 grams chives (2-3 oz.) and about 1/2 cup fresh parsley. 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Set the oven to 350℉. Using an electrical mixer, whip the egg whites on the highest speed until they become stiff (like merengue).

 

7. Add the macaroni and cod pieces to the sauce and stir to combine. Add the greens and fresh herbs and stir to combine. Taste to see if more salt is needed. Carefully mix in the stiff egg whites.

 

8. Add everything to an ovenproof dish. Drizzle 1/4 cup bread crumbs on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180°C / 350°F) for 30 about minutes (or until the crumbs starts turning golden). 

 

 

Here is what you need to make Fish Gratin

 

600 grams (1.3 lbs.) cod fileet

2 dl. (3/4 cup) macaroni

salt

50 gr. (3 1/5 tbsp.) butter

2 shallots (finely chopped)

2 garlic cloves (crushed)

3 tbsp. all purpose flour

5 dl. (a little more than 2 cups or 17 oz.) whole milk

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 cup grated parmesan

3 eggs (yokes and whites separated)

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 green onions, finely sliced

18 gr. chives (2-3 oz). finely sliced

1/4 cup bread crumbs 

 

Boiled or mashed potatoes to serve, Steamed vegetables to serve

 

Instructions: 

 

1. Bring a pot with water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the cod. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the size) until it turns white in color. 

 

2. Boil macaroni for 10 minutes, drain.

 

3. Add the butter to a pot and sauté the shallots on medium high temperature until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the flour while stirring constantly.

 

4. Add the milk and stir until there are no lumps. Bring to a boil while stirring, then reduce the heat to low and add nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt,  pepper and  cayenne pepper. Add 3 egg yokes to the sauce and stir well to combine. Then add grated parmesan to the sauce.  Let simmer on low while doing the next steps. 

 

5. Set the oven to 350℉. Using an electrical mixer, whip the egg whites on the highest speed until they become stiff (like merengue).

 

6. Add the macaroni and cod pieces to the sauce and stir to combine. Add the greens and fresh herbs and stir to combine. Taste to see if more salt is needed. Carefully mix in the stiff egg whites.

 

8. Add everything to an ovenproof dish. Drizzle bread crumbs on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180°C / 350°F) for 30 about minutes (or until the crumbs starts turning golden). 

 

 

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