As much as I like my job, seven weeks of 6am starts and 1am finishes has left me feeling a little drained and half term is indeed a very welcome thing. So, howcome I didn’t post until half way through half term? Well, the sad geeky truth is I got a little carried away with a mathemtical coding project related to my year 12s’ syllabus.
Yes, I know, it’s tragic. But don’t worry, I’ve still got things to post, I’ll just take a while to write them up.
My first 7 weeks at Highgate have been an interesting experience. I wasn’t expecting the ups and downs that seem to come with your average teaching day. On most days I will see my lower school set. They can be difficult and lessons with them frequently leave me totally exhausted and more than a little peeved. But then this is counterbalanced by an amazing set or year 12s who, no matter how badly the day is going, will somehow manage to make this job seem worthwhile.
The school day also makes cooking a little tough but, for these 9 days of holiday at least, I’m back on form and the first thing I made was this.
You can tell I had too much time on my hands that day, can’t you?
I’m aware that a few cookbooks include fish lasagnas like this one with a smoked salmon filling but I think that the salmon on its own would be a bit overpowering for me. I wanted something to dissipate the strong salty flavour of the salmon and, at the same time, add an extra dimension to the dish. I thought about adding prawns at first, but I didn’t want to alter the texture of the lasagne that much. Then I found some haddock on special offer and this dish was born.
Haddock and Smoked Salmon Lasagna
- 175g smoked salmon
- 200g haddock fillet, skinned
- half a medium onion, finely chopped
- a tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
- 3 sheets fresh lasagna
- 2 eggs, poached and refreshed in cold water
For The Hollandaise Sauce
- one to two tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 medium/large eggs (yolks only)
- 100g butter
- two teaspoons of white wine vinegar
- Start off by getting your poached eggs ready.
- Make the hollandaise sauce as described here.
- Cut the lasagne sheets in half and cook them, as normal, in salted boiling water. Brush them with olive oil so they don’t stick together, and set them aside.
- Sweat the onions in a little of the butter until they are soft.
- Meanwhile, poach the haddock in the milk until it flakes. Drain the fish, flake it into small pieces and stir it into the cooked onion with the parsley.
- Warm two serving plates. Using a quarter of the haddock minture, make a thin, rectangular base for the first lasagna on one plate. Try and make it the same size as the lasagne sheets.
- Cover the base one lasagna sheet. Over this, put down a layer of smoked salmon, using around a third of the salmon and cover this with another sheet of lasagna. Make the top layer of the lasagna in the same way as the first, but this time layer another third of the salmon over the haddock before adding the top lasagna sheet. Top the whole thing with the remaining salmon.
- Assemble the other lasagna in the same way. Top each with a poached egg, pour the hollandaise sauce over them and scatter over some chopped chives.
- Serve with steamed asparagus.
This was the biggest success I’d had this term. The addition of the haddock to the smoked salmon and hollandaise did exctly what I wanted. The lasagna had that extra depth of flavour I had been aiming for but was still dominated by the classic pairing of smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce.
In fact, this would have been perfect if I’d been able to find our whisk. As it was, it had disappeared in our move two months ago and somehow I’d managed to get by without noticing it had gone. This left me with two problems. Firstly, it is very difficult to make hollandaise sauce without one and secondly, those poached eggs were just not going to work.
The hollandaise sauce was eventually made by beating things very fast with a fork. As for the eggs, Goon tried to replace the whisk with an electric stick blender. It didn’t really work.
Well, it nearly held together. Next time I’m in this situation, I’ll try the oiled cling film trick that Trig described in his post on egg poaching techniques.