Baked Seafood Florentine
The addition of cream and Pernod elevates this dish to something sublime. You can happily serve it to guests; they will be blown-away by its flavour without quite being able put their finger on its identity – that’s your secret now, so smile and offer seconds. You can easily double the quantity.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cooking Time30 minutes
1 kg prepack spinach, washed and sliced
pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper
30 ml sunflower oil
2 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
2 leeks, sliced thinly
1 packet Food Lover’s Seafood Mix, defrosted (or Prawn Meat if you prefer)
500 g hake fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
60 ml butter
60 ml flour
300 ml milk
100 ml cream
20 ml Pernod or Ouzo (or any aniseed-flavoured alcohol)
Grana Padano cheese, grated finely
Steam spinach lightly until wilted; press out any moisture and spread on the base of a buttered or non-stick baking dish, approx 20 x 30 cm with fairly high sides.
Sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg and season. Set aside until needed.
Heat oil in a large frying pan.
Add celery and leek; fry lightly until soft and translucent.
Add hake and Seafood Mix; stir fry for a few minutes until cooked. This should not take more than 10 minutes. Take care not to break up the fish by not over-working the mix. Season lightly.
Melt butter in a saucepan; add flour and mix to make a paste.
Reduce heat and stir in milk, a little at a time, taking care that mixture does not form lumps.
When sauce is smooth and lumpfree, season with black pepper and salt; add cream and Pernod, stirring. Remove sauce from heat.
Place the seafood mix on top of the spinach in the baking dish.
Pour sauce over. Top with grated Grana Padano, enough to form a nice even layer.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190 deg C for 20 – 30 minutes until cheese topping is golden brown.