"Fish and Chips" Casserole

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READY IN: 1hr 45mins
Recipe by scherman

This isn't your typical fried fish and chips style dish. The fish is baked and the potatoes are scalloped in this dish. It is made with a white sauce that contains crème fraiche and is infused with some fresh thyme and garlic. The very thinly sliced potato topping ends up baking up to be a lovely golden brown and the fish is flaky and tender. This is fairly simple to prepare and a great lighter variation on the standard fish and chips. This comes from a book called "Sunday Casseroles" by Betty Rosbottom, though I have made some very minor changes.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Generously butter a 2 quart shallow baking dish.
  2. Melt the butter until hot in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes. Gradually pour in the milk and the crème fraiche, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a simmer.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic, 3/8 tsp of salt and 3/8 tsp of black pepper. Add the thyme and let the sauce infuse with the seasonings for at least 10 minutes. I didn't have fresh available so I used about 1/4 tsp of dried thyme in the sauce and didn't use any additional for garnish.
  4. Cut the cod or haddock fillets into 1 inch chunks and pat them dry with paper towels. Place the fish in the prepared baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Remove the thyme sprigs from the sauce (or leave in the dried thyme if you used that instead) and pour half of the sauce over the fish. Stir gently so that all the fish pieces are well coated and spread them evenly in a single layer.
  5. Peel the potatoes and cut them crosswise into very thin slices (1/8 inch or less - I used a mandolin to do this). I ended up using less than 1lb once they were thinly sliced as about 2 medium sized potatoes ended up being enough to cover the 2qt. casserole dish even when overlapping a good amount.
  6. Arrange the potato slices in a single overlapping layer on top of the fish. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.
  7. Pour the remaining sauce over the potatoes and spread evenly. (Tip: The casserole can be prepared up to this point about 4 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before baking).
  8. Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes. After 30 minutes the potatoes should have just started to brown and the liquids in the dish will be bubbling up slightly. At this point, start checking the casserole often until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife and are golden.
  9. Arrange a rack in the oven 4 to 5 inches from the broiler and broil the casserole until the potatoes are more browned - 1 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully as the potatoes can burn quickly.
  10. Remove casserole from oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes and then sprinkle with thyme before serving.

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