Needing inspiration for dinner once again I turned to Ricardo (Volume 10 number 1)) for a week night super recipe. I had some rainbow trout on hand and a lot of spinach and decided to try this casserole out. What I like about this casserole is that the layering of the fish fillets in the middle cooks them perfectly and keeps the fillets moist. Next time I would like to try adding a little lemon flavor, perhaps by adding lemon zest or fresh juice to the bechamel, and maybe a little fresh dill. If I was styling this photo for a professional photograph I would have added lightly steamed spinach to the layers to keep the vibrant green color that is lost because of the 1 hour and 15 minute cooking time. If you are not a fan of fish this recipe is not for you as the fish infuses the entire casserole with flavor and smells like Coquilles Saint Jacques coming out of the oven (yummy). I had it for lunch again today and it re-heated well and was still delicious! My little girl refused to eat this casserole on sight, but after 15 minutes of fussing she finally tried it, liked it and ate it all. I would have liked to skip the tediousness off her resistance, but at least it worked out in the end. I praised her heavily for finally trying it of course.
Fish, Potato and Spinach Casserole
Ricardo's recipe en francais
Ricardo's recipe en francais
(translated from french )
Preparation 25 minutes
Cooking time 1 h 30
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
30 ml (2 tablespoons) butter
2 liters (8 cups) spinach well compacted
salt and pepper
45 ml (3 tablespoons) butter
45 ml (3 tablespoons) all purpose unbleached flour
500 ml (2 cups) milk
pinch of nutmeg
1 liter (4 cups) peeled potatoes, finely sliced with a mandoline
454g (1 lb.) sole fillets or other thin fillets without skin ( I used rainbow trout and sliced the fillets at the thicker parts in 2 lengthwise)
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) grated cheese (such as Gruyere, mozzarella, provolone etc.)
1 Position oven rack in center of oven. Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F).
2 In a large non stick saute pan or wok melt the butter and cook the garlic without browning. Add the spinach to the pan and toss the spinach as it cooks. Season the spinach and drain well. Reserve.
3 In a little saucepan melt the butter. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute while stirring continuously. Add the milk, the nutmeg and bring to a boil while continuing to stir. Let simmer for about 2 minutes. Season. Reserve.
4 In a baking dish that can hold about 2 liters (8 cups), line the base of the dish with a third of the potato slices. Layer half the spinach over the potatoes and cover with a third of the bechamel sauce. Add another third of the potato slices, and cover with fish fillets. Season the fillets. Add the remaining spinach and cover with another third of bechamel sauce. Finish with the remaining potato slices and bechamel sauce. Distribute the cheese equally over top.
5 Cook in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minute or until the potato slices are tender. If desired broil the casserole until golden. Let the casserole sit for 10 minutes and serve with a green salad.