OSTEND-STYLE FISH GRATINIt is delightful to see many fish recipes in the Dutch and Belgian Food and Cooking by Janny De Moor and Suzanne Vandyck. The cookbook did mention that Ostend, a coastal town in the Flemish province of West Flanders, Belgium, is renowned for the quality of its fish and shellfish. The fish mine and the fish market offer the freshest catch of the day, which is put to good use by the local to make great dish like this one, fish gratin. This is a great way to enjoy fish and seafood in one pot. So, it is a good news for seafood lover. It’s a one pot meal that you can prepare pretty effortlessly.

What you will need:
  • 14 oz (400 g) firm fish fillets such as monkfish, salmon, turbot or cod
  • 7 oz (200 g) jumbo shrimps (peeled and deveined)
  • 4 cups (1 liter) fish stock
  • Scant ½ cup (100 g) butter
  • ½ cup (50 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100 ml) dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • ½ cup (100 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (115 g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a 2-pint/5-cup baking dish/casserole dish with some oil. Cut the fish into even cubes
  2. Bring the fish stock to the boil in a pan. Add the fish cubes, reduce the heat and poach for 2 minutes. If using shrimp, poach for 1 minute, until pink
  3. As soon as the fish is cooked, lift it out with a slotted spoon and layer in the baking dish
  4. Season to taste and cover to keep warm. pour the fish stock into a measuring cup
  5. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. When it foams, whisk in the flour and stir for 2 minutes
  6. Stirring all the time, add a generous 2 cups of the reserved fish stock in a steady stream, saving the rest to thin the sauce later if necessary. Add the wine or vermouth in the same way. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring, then add the heavy cream. Season and simmer for 1 minute longer. Thicken with more fish stock if you find the sauce is too thick
  7. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese, reserving 3 Tbsp for topping. Stir in the shrimp, with 1 Tbsp of the parsley, and spoon evenly over the fish. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese melts and turns golden. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve with crusty bread if you have some


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>