Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Smoked fish lasagne

(About to follow is a paragraph of grammar/language commentary that you may want to skip)
Even if my day job did not require me to care about grammar and consistency in text, I’d have to anyway because of the really geek-like interest I have in languages. After starting this blog with a desire to keep it American – like the title says – and spell things sans u, I decided that because I’m in England I should spell as they do. Hence, the u returns, and z is largely banished.

All that to say, I’m keeping to the the ‘UK rules’ rule and spelling lasagne the British way because it has been made in the style that Brits tend to do. Oh yes, they do indeed have their own style. As lasagne is not a complicated concept, I’m sure there are parts of Italy that make it the same way, but I stick to my Italian grandmother’s lasagne recipe as my own authentic definition of southern European cuisine. If I ever make something based on that, it will be called lasagnA.

When T makes lasagne, he uses a white sauce rather than ricotta cheese. It makes for a much gooier, melt-in-your-mouth dish that’s perfect for coupling with garlic bread for a fondu-type approach. This lasagne holds together a little better on day two than it does fresh out of the oven, so be careful when serving the first couple of pieces that you don’t scoop out the filling from the middle in the process.

2 small filets of salmon
2 x 320g packs of smoked fish pie mix (from Sainsburys)
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
About 2 cups (175g) of baby corn, optional
Ground pepper, to taste
Uncooked lasagne noodles
About 2 cups (150-175g) of grated cheddar cheese

White sauce ingredients:
½ cup (113g) butter
½ cup (65g) of plain flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme
4 cups (945ml) milk

1. Make the white sauce first. Melt the butter over low heat, then add the flour, salt and thyme. Stir constantly until the flour is mixed in smoothly, and the sauce begins to bubble. Turn off the heat, and stir in the milk. Turn the heat back on low and keep stirring until the sauce comes back up to the boil. Let it boil for one minute, stirring to prevent it burning to the bottom of the pot.

2. Lightly saute the fish in butter and garlic, seasoning with pepper. Add the baby corn, if desired. The fish will crumble and flake together. Stir in three-quarters of the white sauce to the cooked fish.

3. To assemble, start with a layer of half of the fish mixture, and top with one-third of the grated cheese. Place a layer of uncooked lasange noodles on top of this, then add the rest of the fish. Top this with another portion of grated cheese, as before. Add a second layer of lasagne noodles, then spread these with a thin layer of the remaining white sauce. Top with the rest of the grated cheese.

4. Bake according to the instructions on your pack of lasagne noodles.

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