The smell of cheese in many decent restaurants in France is what sets it apart from similar restaurants in the UK. In this recipe, it will be the smell of Emmental cheese flying over the seafood gratin. I thought the apples with caramel might be a bit “Normandy” for foreign consumption but it was really nice.
- 450ml/16oz of fish broth (see tip)
- 400g/14oz white fish fillets (such as cod), peeled and cut into 2cm/inch pieces
- 200g/7oz scallops, peeled and cleaned
- 400g / 14oz raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 50ml/2oz white wine
- 150ml/5oz whole milk
- 100ml/3oz Double Cream
- 50g/1oz butter, plus extra for lubrication
- 2 leeks, trimmed, halved and sliced
- 50g/1oz plain flour
- Small handful of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- 80g/2oz Emmental cheese, grated
- 50g/1oz panko breadcrumbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Crispy bread, cut into pieces, to serve
To prepare the caramel apple
For gratin, bring the broth to a simmer in a large saucepan. Add fish and boil for 1 minute. Add the scallops and boil for another minute. Add prawns and boil for one last minute. Remove all seafood with a perforated spoon and set aside. Add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce the mixture for 5 minutes. Then add milk and cream and reduce the mixture over low heat.
Meanwhile, melt butter in another large saucepan, add shallots and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the flour and stir well, then add the milk and stock mixture a ladle at a time. Keep stirring until all the liquid is incorporated and the sauce is smooth without lumps. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Heat the grill on a high temperature.
Grease six shallow baking pans or a large baking dish measuring 30 x 25 cm / 12 x 10 inches. Add the boiled fish, scallops, and shrimp to the leek sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley and transfer the mixture to plates or gratin plates.
Mix the cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the gratin. Put them under the hot grill for 10 minutes, until golden brown and the contents boil.
To prepare the caramelized apples, melt the butter in a non-stick skillet. Add the caster sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the apple slices and my heart until they are covered with caramel. Cook for 10 minutes, or until apples are softened and covered with caramel sauce.
Serve gratin with caramelized apples and bread on the side.