Cod au gratin

By Rodney Bowers
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Make this in advance and enjoy all week!

SERVES
4
 TO
6
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

  • Piece of pork fatback, about 1/2 the size of a hockey puck, cut into small cubes (optional)
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup good white wine
  • 455 grams of new potato steamed and cut into small cubes
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.3 kilograms cod fillet, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons organic butter
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (chives, parsley, basil)

For the Béchamel:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 finely grated lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • Juice of half a lemon

Toppings:

  • 2 cup shredded white cheddar
  • 1 cup of butter breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon savory or fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet or cast-iron pan over medium heat on the stove and render down the pork fatback (drain off 75% of the fat and discard).
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan with the pork fat and sauté for five to ten minutes, or until onions start to become translucent.
  3. Add the white wine, potatoes, thyme and bay leaf. Place the cod on top and cover.
  4. Steam until the cod starts to flake apart slightly, about ten to fifteen minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and incorporate the butter then the béchamel. Check for seasoning and gently stir in the fresh herbs.

For the Bechamel:

  1. In a medium saucepan add the butter and flour and cook together for two minutes. Slowly pour in the milk whisking constantly.
  2. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the lemon zest, Dijon mustard, savoury and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix in.

To assemble:

  1. Put a thin layer of fish mixture into individual gratin dishes. Top with sprinkle buttered breadcrumbs and and then some shredded cheese some more fish mixture.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the cracker crumbs with the savory and olive oil and sprinkle over the cheese. 
  3. Either freeze or bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F until bubbling and the top has evenly browned. If frozen, bake for 30 min or until the fish is warm.

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