The Daily Spud

...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Spud Sunday: Taking Up Smokies

When you get an invitation that has lunch at Eden Restaurant as part of the deal, you say yes and then ask questions later.

So it was that I found myself dining stuffing my gob at Eden during the launch by the Temple Bar Cultural Trust of their well-packed 2010 programme of events (which, I am delighted to report, includes the return of the Chocolate Festival, this time making a pre-Christmas appearance in December).

Temple Bar Events 2010

However, before the gob-stuffing got underway, I wondered did my fellow lunchers notice quite how much time I had spent staring at the menu? Or if they had caught the slight trepidation in my voice as I ordered the smokies?

Smokies, you see, are a permanent and much-loved part of the menu at Eden. A starter of smoked haddock in a sauce of crème fraîche, with cherry tomatoes, spring onions and melted red cheddar.

Smoked haddock, however, has not passed my lips since childhood.

During my youth, my mother’s smoked-haddock-in-some-kind-of-white-sauce was the most singularly reviled dish of my acquaintance. A fish-on-fridays staple, it was the cause of countless you-will-not-leave-the-table-til-you-finish-your-dinner standoffs.

However, as I looked at the Eden menu, I realised that it was time, at last, to give smoked haddock a second chance.

And so the smokies were ordered and the smokies were eaten, happily. I even went out and bought some smoked haddock the very next day, figuring that we had a lot of catching up to do. And where else to begin, but with some spuds.

Smoked Haddock Hash

Haddock And Potato Hash

This is what happens when you take some leftover boiled spuds and fry them up with the ingredients that Eden use to make their legendary smokies.

As for the melted cheese on top, it may be anathema to some who think that fish and cheese should not meet on the same plate, but it works for the original smokies and I think it works here too.

You’ll need:
  • olive oil for frying
  • 150g smoked haddock fillet
  • 400g boiled potatoes
  • 4 spring onions
  • 200g cherry tomatoes (around 10-12 cherry tomatoes)
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • coarse salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 25g sharp cheddar
The Steps:
  • Cut the haddock into bite-size pieces, around 1cm wide, and slice the potatoes into pieces around 0.5cm thick, leaving the skin on if you like or peeling it off if you don’t. Finely slice the white and green parts of the spring onions and quarter the tomatoes.
  • Place a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add enough olive oil to coat the pan. Add the haddock pieces to the pan and stir and fry for 3-4 minutes or until the pieces are opaque and just cooked through. Remove the haddock to a plate.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add another coating of olive oil and the sliced potatoes. Stir and fry, breaking up any larger pieces of potato as you do so, for around 10 minutes or until they are starting to brown.
  • Add the spring onions and tomatoes and stir and fry for another 2-3 minutes
  • Add the crème fraîche, haddock pieces, a couple of twists of black pepper and coarse salt to taste. Stir and fry for about another minute.
  • Remove from the heat, sprinkle with some grated sharp cheddar and place the pan under the grill for a minute or so, allowing the cheese to melt. Now serve up, perhaps with some nice crusty buttered bread on the side.
The Variations:
  • You could, of course, use other white fish here, smoked or even not-so-smoked.
The Results:
  • 2 good-sized brunch portions

7 Comments

  1. It’s a wonderful combination of flavors. Even looking at its picture, I’m getting hungry. Using the leftover boiled potatoes in this way is a great idea. But I’m not sure if I can find haddock here. Maybe I can use another fish to try this?

  2. MMMMMMMM,…a lovely combo of nice flavours, daily spud!!

    Yum Yum Yum,…I love cheddar with potatoes & fish!

  3. It is 1 AM eastern time and I am seriously thinking of making some hash right now! Wow, what a great recipe, although spuds are never left over here!

  4. Good for you for over-coming your childhood haddock fear! They look lovely – really comforting. I might even do the cheese fish thing.

    Now that you’re over the haddock thing, you can get stuck into Kedgeree – best brunch ever!

  5. what a great combo of flavors..

    sweetlife

  6. Cheese goes with anything and this dish amply proves it! The fact that you’ve got potatoes in there, too, is just the cherry on top. Funny – it’s Lent, the time of year that accounts for about 2/3s of my annual total fish intake and yet I haven’t made any yet for Fridays! This should be the recipe to rectify the oversight.

  7. Daily Spud

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    zerrin: you could try any smoked white fish in this (or even try with white fish that is unsmoked, though the flavour would obviously be very different)

    Sophie: thanks – I like cheddar + potatoes and potatoes + fish and, in this case, all three!

    Chef E: I know what you mean about not having leftover spuds, though I tend to always make extra, just so I can have cooked spuds to play with the next day!

    aoife mc: ah, kedgeree, now there is a thing for me to try, will have to keep that in mind!

    sweetlife: thanks – the combination of flavours in the original smokies really works, so I thought it wasn’t a bad idea to borrow it :)

    Tangled Noodle: …and it would be highly appropriate, given that this post had it origins in an old fish-on-fridays experience – one that I’d like to think I have improved upon!

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