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Smoked Haddock Rarebit

Smoked Haddock Rarebit

Smoked Haddock Rarebit with Tomatoes.

For the rarebit sauce;

50g (2oz) butter

50g (2oz) plain flour

A dash of Worcestershire sauce

600ml (1 pint) milk (or half light ale, half milk)

100g (3.5oz) strong Cheddar cheese grated, plus 50-75g (2-3oz) extra grated Cheddar for the top

2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

50g (2oz) unsalted butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

6 ripe medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced

900g (2lbs) fresh spinach, trimmed, washed and roughly chopped

A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

550g (1lb 4oz) undyed smoked haddock fillets, trimmed and checked for bones

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the sauce: Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F / Gas Mark 5. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and stir in the flour and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Remove pan from the heat. Pour in the milk (or milk and beer) and whisk well. Return to the heat slowly and bring to the boil, stirring or whisking all the time well. Simmer for 2 minutes then stir in the grated cheese and mustard and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Keep warm.

Melt half the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the garlic until just coloured. Immediately add the tomatoes and sauté them with the garlic butter, cooking just long enough to heat through. Tip into the base of a shallow baking dish, and spread in an even layer. Melt the remaining butter in the frying pan and add the spinach, cook over a high heat until wilted, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and tip out over the tomatoes, arranging the spinach to cover the tomato layer.

Lay the fish fillets on top of the spinach and season well with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish, making sure it is completely covered. Sprinkle with the extra grated cheese and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until brown and bubbling and the fish cooked through (check by pushing a knife into the fish, the flesh should flake easily). You may like to finish it off under the grill to brown the top more, but try not to overcook the fish.

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