This is a recipe for fish gratin made in the Norwegian style, where it is called Hjemmelaget fiskegratent. My Greek friend Poppy, who has lived in Norway for years, sent this to me and she said this is her favourite local recipe. The original recipe is in Norwegian from MatPrat. I would describe this dish as perfect for a cold night because it is hearty and warm. The ingredients are simple. First you have the main ingredients of fish, leeks and macaroni. Next this is mixed with a creamy white sauce. Finally, the toasted flour on top adds a unique nutty taste. I decided to serve the fish gratin with green beans to add some colour and vegetables.
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp plain flour
400 ml milk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
3 eggs, separated
200g steamed white or red fish
100g dried macaroni, cooked according to the package then drained
1/2 stalk of leeks, cut into rings
2 Tbsp toasted flour
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add flour and stir the mixture evenly. Cook for a few minutes. Dilute with the milk, a little at a time. Stir well between each addition. Let the sauce simmer for approximately 5 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat. Separate the eggs and whisk one egg yolk at a time into the sauce.
Break the steamed fish into bite-sized pieces. Add the fish, macaroni and leeks to the sauce. Whisk the egg whites until medium peaks form, then carefully fold them into the mixture.
Pour the mixture into a glass baking dish. Sprinkle with toasted flour bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 40 minutes, or until it is cooked through and golden on top.
Serve the fish gratin with browned butter, boiled potatoes and/or vegetables
Note: to toast flour you can just heat it in a pan over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Stir often until it starts to turn a light brown colour. It’s amazing how this step changes the flavour so much!
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