Thursday, February 9, 2012

Norway: Fiskegratin (Fish Bake)

We don't eat a lot of fish usually. But when I chose Northern Europe (i.e. Scandinavia & Iceland) for this month's Cook Around the Globe, I knew that was about to change. It's difficult to avoid fish dishes because a) Scandinavian cookbooks are full of them and b) there are endless miles of coast line and thousands of lakes in those countries. This is a very simple fish bake - almost like a soufflé actually. One major difference in recipes that I found, was that you can either add raw or cooked fish to the milk. I did the former but quite a bit of liquid accumulated on the bottom of the baking dish I used (at least I assume that the raw fish was the reason for that). So I would definitely recommend to use cooked fish for this dish.

1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
500 ml hot milk
3 eggs, separated
250 g cooked white fish fillet without skin, diced
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp fresh chopped dill

Melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, then slowly add milk, stirring to break up clots. Stirring very often, bring the milk to a simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks, season with salt, pepper, sherry, and dill. Add fish. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into fish mixture. Grease a round high baking dish (or loaf pan). Sprinkle bottom of form with 1 tbsp bread crumbs. Fill in fish-egg mix and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs.

(adapted from: "Norwegisch kochen" by Alexander Pöche and Susanne Schöer and "Scandinavian Cooking" by Sonia Maxwell)

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