Pan Fried Hake and Creamy Leek Gratin

I had only ever had leek gratin once, at Hoghouse in Stellenbosch, and I had no idea what I was eating. It was in the early days of going vegetarian so my only question when eating something was “does it have meat?” No meat? Cool, I’ll eat it. It was quite a life-changing experience and this week UCOOK brings that experience straight to your door with their Pan Fried Hake and Creamy Leek Gratin

Everything that classifies a gratin – also known as gratinée or au gratin – is comforting and ticks those winter food boxes perfectly. A gratin is always baked and has cheese or breadcrumbs that go crispy. If that doesn’t sound like heaven in a dish then you need to check your definitions. While leek gratin is not one of the most common gratins, such as potato, it is one that I find to be the most flavourful. Once baked, the leeks sweeten and caramelise, while the cream and dijon mustard balance out the sweetness, and the parmesan crisps on the top of the gratin, all balancing out the dish wonderfully.

Simple is always better, and when it comes to design and home cooking, simple always wins. Knowing how to cook one ingredient perfectly is something every home cook should master. In my family home, it was how to perfectly cook a fish fillet. Quick, and with minimal seasoning, making sure not to dry the fish out and cooking it to perfection. UCOOK have always kept this in mind with their fish dishes. The hake is seasoned simply with salt and pepper and a little squeeze of lemon, allowing the flavour of the fish to truly shine. And when complimented with sweet peas and a creamy leek gratin you can understand why this dish is such a winner.

Everything in this dish comes together, each component helping the other, resulting in a well rounded, creamy and delicious dish you’ll be sad to miss out on. To avoid all the disappointment you can place your order for the Pan Fried Hake and Creamy Leek Gratin before Wednesday 10am.

Recipe

Ingredients
  • 400g Leeks
  • 20ml Parmesan
  • 2 Hake Fillets
  • 1/2 Lemon, zested
  • 200g Frozen Peas
  • 4g Dill
  • 100ml Cream
  • 10ml Dijon Mustard
  • 80g Butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and ready an ovenproof dish or deep baking tray.
  2. Remove your butter from the fridge and set aside 50g.
  3. Slice your leeks in half lengthways and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry with some paper towel or a clean cloth.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together your cream and dijon mustard until smooth, add your lemon zest and mix again.
  5. Place your leeks in your prepared ovenproof dish. Rub the leeks with the 50g butter you set aside and pour over your dijon mustard and cream. Sprinkle with some grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Once your oven has preheated, bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and soft.
  7. To make your fish, place a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat with 20g butter with a drizzle of olive oil. When hot, add your fish, skin side down and fry for 4-5 minutes. Flip your fish and cook with the skin side up for a further 3-4 minutes, seasoning as you go.
  8. Keep your pan on the heat and reduce to low heat adding extra olive oil if necessary. Add your peas, leftover oil and butter, and fry for 2-3 minutes seasoning well with salt and pepper.
  9. It’s time to plate up. Plate your creamy leeks with your buttery hale and sprinkle over with your sweet peas. Squeeze some lemon juice and serve.
  10. Enjoy!