And they do not come better, or more warming, than…
Smoked Mackerel Dauphinoise!
When I saw this latest painting by Bonnie Lalley – she has been enduring arctic temperatures and blizzards over where she lives in the States, poor thing! – I was put in mind of one of my favourite comfort fish dishes – one to curl up by the fire with and watch the snow fall outside – or in my case the pouring rain – and savour for its benevolence.
600 gm potatoes peeled and sliced – not too thinly!
250 gm smoked mackerel – skin removed and flaked
2 bay leaves
200 ml milk
300 gm double cream
1 tbsp grain mustard
Arrange the potatoes in a shallow baking dish. Mix in the mackerel. Add te bay leaves and a good grind or two of black pepper.
Mix together the milk and cream and pour over the potatoes and mackerel.
Bake in a preheated oven – 190c – for about 50 minutes to an hour. The cream mixture should be bubbling and the potatoes pierced easily by a knife.
Serve with rocket and baby salad leaves with a swirl of balsamic over them and a little olive oil.
The picture below does not do the dish justice – but last night it warmed us to the core – it is a dish that brings an instant sense of well-being to all gathered around the supper table.
And there is a serene simplicity to this dish, just like the painting of the American farmstead snowed in.