Lose your fear of soufflés with this winning cheese and smoked haddock recipe from The Hairy Bikers.
25g/1oz butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tbsp very fine, dry white breadcrumbs, or fine polenta
250g/9oz smoked pollock or smoked haddock fillet
1 fresh bay leaf
300ml/11fl oz full-fat milk
25g/1oz plain flour
50g/2oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp English mustard
4 free-range eggs, separated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
salad leaves, lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Grease a one litre (1¾ pint) soufflé dish with the extra butter and coat with the breadcrumbs, tapping out any excess.
Arrange the fish in a single layer in a saucepan, cutting it into pieces if necessary, and tuck in the bay leaf. Pour in the milk, cover the pan and bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat. The fish should be just cooked, if it isn't then turn the fish over and leave it in the hot milk for a minute or two longer.
Remove the fish from the milk, reserve the milk and set aside. When the fish is cool enough to handle, flake it off the skin in fairly small pieces, removing any bones you come across on the way.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook for one minute then gradually pour in the warm fish milk, stirring well with each addition, until you have a smooth sauce. Let the sauce bubble gently for a minute or two, stirring often. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the mustard and the grated cheddar until melted and smooth.
Leave to cool slightly then mix the egg yolks into the cheese sauce and fold in the smoked fish. Season generously with black pepper (it may not need any salt).
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then gently fold half into the soufflé mixture, keeping in as much air as possible. Fold in the remaining half then carefully pour the mixture into the soufflé dish.
Run the tip of a sharp knife around the top edge of the dish to release it from the sides of the dish (this will help it rise evenly). Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, without opening the oven door, or until well risen and golden on top, and with a slight wobble when shaken gently.
Serve immediately with the green salad on the side.
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