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dinsdag 11 september 2012

How do you translate 'vispannetje' properly? 'Little pan of fish'?

I bought nearly 3 kg of fish filets for my birthday party. Problem was the organisation of cooking for over 30 people in our small kitchen, so we changed plans. The fish, however, was already in our freezer and we now have these fish-dish-nights to eat our stock. 

You have to be creative for doing this: my dad loves fried fish, my mum doesn't like fried fish, my sister usually hates fish and I love to eat fish in all sorts of ways as long as there is enough variation. A little too many different tastes to please all. But we try to do as good as we can, don't we? ;)

Tonight it's a Belgian classic: vispannetje. It can be literally translated as little fish pan, but that sounds a bit ridiculous. Just keep in mind it contains fish and sea fruit, is prepared in the oven and tastes lovely.

As I thought my brother-in-law Jasper was coming over for dinner, I substituted the mushrooms by leek (as he doesn't like mushrooms at all), but it turned out he only came to visit and was gone before we ate. Anyway, it'll be vispannetje without mushrooms ... Leeks taste really nice in this dish, so don't think it's only second choice!

Ingredients for 4:
- 3 or 4 small leeks  OR 250 grams of mushrooms (cut in rings or slices and fried (optionally) fried in some butter*)
- 1 carrot
- 500 grams fish filet
- 200 grams mixed sea fruit (mussels, squid, shrimps, ...)
- 3/4 cube of fish stock
- spoonful of butter
- 400 ml of milk 
- salt and pepper to taste
- 100 grams grated Emmental cheese
- handful of breadcrumbs
- dill

How to:
Grease a large ovenproof dish and scatter the leeks/mushrooms, the sea fruit and the fish in it. Scatter the chopped dill over all of this.
Now cover the dish with the cheese and the bread crumbs.
Make a light béchamel sauce with the butter, a little flour, milk, and the fish stock. Make it not too thick. It should be much more liquid than solid.
Pour the sauce over the rest of the ingredients. 

Put the dish in a 250°C oven and let it all bake for 30-45 minutes.

* You don't really need to prefry the leeks or mushrooms, but for some people the strong taste of leeks is better baked off. The only thing you need to make sure is that they are covered by the sauce while baking in the oven. They'll get tender there too.

Serve this with mashed potato or a carrot-potato mash. 


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