About this recipe:Frozen prawns are a great standby and transform a modest amount of fish into a hearty dish. Serve with mash, peas and green beans for irresistible comfort food made easy. Delicious!
300g baby spinach leaves
250g skinless haddock fillet
4 tbsp cornflour
600ml semi-skimmed milk
75g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
4 spring onions, chopped
a little freshly grated nutmeg
200g frozen cooked, peeled prawns
handful chopped fresh parsley
6 bread sticks, plain or sesame
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Method Prep:12min › Cook:15min › Ready in:27min
Prepare the haddock: Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven), gas 7. Spread out the spinach in a deep ovenproof dish large enough to hold the fish in one layer. Cut the haddock into four equal pieces and put them on top of the spinach.
Prepare the sauce: Put the cornflour in a pan and stir in a little of the milk to make a smooth, thin paste. Gradually stir in the remaining milk, then cook over a low heat, whisking continuously, until the sauce boils and thickens. (The sauce will seem too thick but it will thin down when baked with the cheese, fish and prawns.)
Add the flavourings and prawns: Whisk in three-quarters of the cheese and all the spring onions with nutmeg and seasoning to taste. Remove from the heat and stir in the frozen prawns and parsley. Immediately pour the sauce over the fish and spinach to cover evenly.
Add the crunchy topping: Snap the bread sticks into short, coarsely crumbled pieces, and sprinkle all over the sauce. Press them in gently so that they are almost submerged. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbling hot and golden.
For haddock, use virtually any skinless, boneless fish: cod, coley, whiting, smoked haddock or salmon.
Or soften frozen cod steaks in the microwave for a few seconds, then cut them into chunks and distribute over the spinach.
Or use drained canned tuna or salmon instead of the fish or to replace the prawns (use the liquid from salmon in the sauce).
For spinach, use frozen mixed vegetables.
Instead of mashed potato, fresh pasta or couscous are great accompaniments.
…speed it up
To avoid grating and chopping, add 3-4 tbsp pesto to the sauce instead of the cheese and parsley.
Cut up a bundle of spring onions in one go, using scissors.
Bake and serve the gratin in individual ovenproof dishes to cut down on washing up – the cooking time will be the same.
I made this as my youngest loves prawns. I'm not a fish fan, but found the combination with the spinach really added something to the flavour. The cheese sauce topping added a nice sauciness and crunch too. Kids weren't as impressed as I'd hoped, but I enjoyed it which is huge praise for anything with fish. - 23 Sep 2008
Mmmmm! Yum!! Great dish, quick easy and kids loved it so gets a five star from me! Only thing is next time I might cook the spinach first as it was a bit watery at the bottom and I prefer to make a cheese sauce with normal flour rather than cornflour. Definitely a keeper though, thanks! - 04 Sep 2014
Altered ingredient amounts.
Feeding 6, I increased the haddock and decreased the spinach slightly - but only because I had less in than the recipe requested. For my preference, I'd happily increase it again. - 23 Sep 2008