Cod au Gratin is a classic and comforting dish and I've been making it for years. This dish never disappoints and is perfect served with crisp vegetables and some home made bread. Take a look!
Well, we are nearing the end of the first week of the back to school routine and so far we are all surviving. There's no morning fights, complaints about the lunch, rushing at 7:55 to get out the door, sullen faces at pick up or endless stuff to buy. Yet. I am standing by for all the craziness next week. Surely, it can't be this smooth sailing all year. Can it?
Normally by day one, I am frazzled and looking for a cold bottle of something to drown my school sorrows in by 6:00 pm. That's the the cold hard truth about the back to school routine. Somehow, now embracing the start of day four, we are drama-less. The week isn't over yet, so there's till time..ha.
School drama aide, let's talk frozen fish for a second.
Okay, so I happen to live in a place where we are lucky to have tons and tons of fresh fish. It's a seaside town and a lot of local fishing goes on around here. Because of that, you can get so many varieties of fish at great prices year round.. It's really wonderful if you happen to love fish.
But what about the fish that isn't caught locally? Like this cod for example wasn't caught anywhere around here but it was displayed it all it's "fresh" glory at the fish counter at my local supermarket. Here's the real deal with that, it was frozen. Yes, it was. If fish has to travel for days or even weeks to get to your part of the world, it was frozen. And can I just say, there is absolute nothing wrong with that. When fish is caught and processed straight away into the freezer, it basically unfreezes to a pretty fresh state. Talk to any Newfoundlander and they will tell you this.
This fish I used for the Cod au Gratin honestly tasted as good as fresh and if I didn't know it was pre frozen and shipped from far and away, I never would have known.
Notes about the Cod au Gratin:
Cod is the main ingredient in this dish so you do want to use the best fish you can get your hands on. The fresh kind like I used is pretty great...ha!
This dish is so easy and the only real work is making the sauce. And that only takes about 5 minutes, so I consider this a easy make ahead dish. Yes, you can prepare this before hand, put it in the fridge and then bake it later in the day when you are ready. Meals like this are great for busy days.
As for making the sauce, it starts with a basic roux. I've talked about this before, it is probably my favourite way to make most creamy sauces. It gives such a thickness and richness to any cream sauce. If you are unsure of what it is, it's the way of making a sauce starting with butter and flour and cooking it for a few minutes into a paste. then adding milk to make a creamy texture. Easy. Once you have that basis, you can add whatever herbs or cheese to flavour it how you like.
I like to add the cheese to the bread crumbs for the top. If you prefer, you could sprinkle with the cheese and then top with the breadcrumbs. Either way, I promise it's delicious.
This dish is a meal in itself, but I like to serve a vegetable or two on the side. Something like asparagus and carrots work really well. Or whatever you like really. Anyway, a great dish to be served any time of year, but even more wonderful during the colder months. Enjoy.
Happy cooking friends and don't be weary of frozen fish!
Cod au Gratin
Serves 6 - 8 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 55 minutes
2 lb/1 kg Cod fillets, skin removed
1 Small onion, finely diced.
2 Cups/480 ml milk
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 Garlic clove, crushed
1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Teaspoon tarragon
1/2 Cup/50 grams parmesan, finely grated
3/4 Cup/75 grams cheddar, finely grated
1 Cup/125 grams bread crumbs
Small bunch chives, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the fish in a deep sided baking dish, 9 x 9 inch. Evenly spread over the onion and set aside.
In a large sauce pan set over medium to high heat, add the butter and garlic until it sizzles. Add the flour and stir quickly and continue to stir for a few minutes. Start gradually adding the milk and whisking as it thickens. Continue this until all the milk has been added and you have a thick sauce.
Add the mustard, tarragon, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Stir well and remove from heat.
Pour the sauce over the fish.
In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the cheddar cheese and chives. Mix well. Sprinkle over the fish.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until fish is completely cooked and the top is golden. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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