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Scallop, prawn and salmon gratin

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Monday night in our house is cooking night with the kids. I started this when the kids were quite young to encourage them to eat a diverse range of foods and to get them to enjoy cooking as well as eating. I have found that when children cook they really start to enjoy food. It has worked a treat and now my kids will try anything before they decide whether they like it or not.
The children always decide during the week what we will be having for dinner on Monday night. Last week they choose to make a seafood gratin. They both love seafood so much so they were very excited about making this dish. They made this dish with very little help from me; I was just there for support.
I know we all have busy lifestyle but it is well worth trying to find a little time to spend with the kids in the kitchen. They really do enjoy it and they do start to look at food in a completely different way.
I will start to post a lot more of the dishes that I cook with my children, because I think it’s a very important life skill to have, and a healthy diet means healthier kids.

Jasmine's knife skills on display, skinning the salmon

Jasmine cutting the salmon

Jake grating (tasting) the cheese

Jake making the bechamel sauce

Jasmine grating the bread for fresh breadcrumbs

Poaching the fish

Draining the fish

Placing the fish carfully into the cooking dish

Pouring over the remaining sauce

Jake finishing touches with the cheesy breadcrumbs


He looks proud of the finished dish, ready to go in the oven

Jasmine shows off the finished dish


The finished dinner!! 'Wow it tasted amazing'

Ingredients;

300ml Milk
2 bay leaves
250g Salmon, skinned, pin boned and diced
200g Scallops, white meat only
200g Prawns, peeled
1 onion finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
30g butter
30g flour
100ml white wine
3tblsp chopped parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
200g breadcrumbs
200g grated cheddar cheese
Mash potatoes, steamed broccoli and mixed salad to serve

Method;

Pre heat the oven to 180c.
Place a medium pan over high heat and add the milk and the bay leaves. Bring to the boil and turn to a very low simmer. Season all of the fish. Add the diced salmon and simmer for 1 minute, after a minute add the scallops and continue to simmer for a further minute. Add the prawns and remove from the heat. Allow the fish to sit in the pan for 2minutes only, then strain and set aside. Reserve the milk.

In a separate pan add the butter and the diced onion and the garlic, cook over low heat until the onions are translucent. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Add the white wine and reduce by half, slowly add the hot fish milk a spoonful at a time until all of the milk has been used and you have a smooth velvety sauce. Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley and the lemon juice. Season to taste.

Place the fish mixture into a oven proof dish. Mix together the breadcrumbs and the grated cheese and sprinkle over the top of the dish.
Bake in the pre heated oven for 10-12min or until golden brown.
Serve with mash potatoes, steamed broccoli, mixed leaf salad and freshly cooked bread.

For the mash potatoes;

Use a potato peeler to pare off the potato skins as thinly as possible, then cut the potatoes into even-sized chunks – not too small; if they are large, quarter them, and if they are small, halve them. Put the potato chunks in a steamer fitted over a large pan of boiling water, sprinkle the salt all over them, put a lid on and steam the potatoes until they are absolutely tender – they should take 20-25 minutes. The way to tell whether they are ready is to pierce them with a skewer in the thickest part: they should not be hard in the centre, and you need to be careful here, because if they are slightly underdone you do get lumps.
When the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the steamer, drain off the water, return them to the saucepan and cover with a clean tea cloth for about 4 minutes to absorb some of the steam, then add the butter, milk and crème fraîche. When you first go in with the whisk, use a slow speed to break the potatoes up, then increase it to high and whip them up to a smooth, creamy, fluffy mass.
Taste and, if they need it, season.

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