Creamy Hake Gratin
A comforting dish for a dreary winter’s evening, this cheesy bake features fresh hake fillets in a silky bechamel sauce. Use a mild cheddar in the sauce but grate a hard cheese like Parmesan over the top of the dish for added flavour. Popular with adults and children alike, the recipe can easily be doubled up to feed a crowd.
- 800 g hake fillets fresh or defrosted
- juice of 1 lemon
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp cake flour (or replace with half the amount for a gluten free version)
- 500 ml milk
- 2 small cloves garlic crushed
- 300 ml grated cheddar cheese plus additional for topping
- 2 tbsp chives finely chopped
- 2 ml ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the hake into a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the lemon juice and set aside.
If using wheat flour: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour and then pour in the milk and whisk the mixture until smooth and thickened. If you're using corn flour (gluten free): Melt the butter and 450ml of the milk. Mix the cold milk with the corn flour, then add to the milk, whisking continuously until the sauce is smooth and thickened.
Remove the sauce from the heat and add in the garlic, cheese and chives. Stir until combined and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour the warm sauce over the fish, being sure to coat it evenly, and top off the dish with the extra grated cheese.