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Smoked Haddock with Poached Egg
This easy recipe is perfect for an indulgent breakfast or laid-back brunch. Timing is key, so make sure you have all your ingredients and two plates to hand before starting to cook. Serves 2.
First, fill and boil your kettle and put your oven on a low heat. Next, place a saucepan large enough to hold both fish fillets over a medium-high heat, and add the milk. The milk needs to come to a gentle simmer (don’t let it boil); when it’s hot enough, put the haddock fillets skin-side down into the milk. Let them poach them for 6-8 minutes – the time needed will depend on the thickness of the fillets, but as a rough guide, you should be able to insert a skewer into the thickest part of the fish without meeting any resistance if it is properly cooked. Use a slotted spoon to lift the fish out of the milk and into a dish (keep the milk). Dot the fish with a little butter, then put a foil lid over the dish and put it in the gently-heated oven to keep warm.
In another pan, melt the 40g of butter, then stir in the plain flour. Let it cook together for a couple of minutes, continuing to stir, then add the fish-poaching milk just a little at a time, stirring it in and allowing it to become absorbed each time before adding more. When you have added all the milk, season the sauce with salt, pepper and a generous grating of nutmeg, then stir and turn the heat right down. Use the water from your kettle to fill another pan with about 5cm of hot water, and bring it to a gentle simmer. Crack the eggs gently into the pan and let them poach for 4 minutes. For the last two minutes of this time, sit a colander or sieve over the pan (not touching the water) and add the spinach, letting it steam.
A soon as the spinach has wilted, take the colander off the pan, let any residual water drain from the spinach and then divide it between two plates. Take the haddock fillets out of the oven and sit one on top of each plate of spinach, then use a slotted spoon to lift the cooked eggs out of their water and place one each piece of fish. Pour a little of the sauce over the top of each egg, then serve immediately, with any leftover sauce alongside and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
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