Kogt Torsk med Asparges

A delicious adaptation of a Scandinavian recipe,- Kogt Torsk med Asparges (kokt torsk mayd asp-ah’as) is a mixture of cod fillets, eggs and asparagus in a creamy cheese sauce, surrounded by a decorative potato border.

1 teaspoon butter

4 medium-sized cod fillets, poached and skinned

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, washed, cooked and drained

4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

10 fl. oz. Y cups bechamel sauce

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

1 bay leaf a teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

6 fl. oz. double cream

6 medium-sized potatoes, cooked

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Using the teaspoon of butter, grease a large baking dish.

Lay the cod fillets in the dish and cover with the asparagus. Cover the asparagus with the egg slices. Set the dish aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the bechamel sauce, cheese, bay leaf, oregano, half the salt, pepper and nutmeg, stirring to blend well. Set the pan over low heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.

Stir in 5 fluid ounces of the cream and cook for a further 1 minute, stirring constantly, or until the sauce is hot but not boiling.

Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Pour the sauce over the fish mixture in the baking dish.

Set aside.

Place the potatoes in a fine wire strainer held over a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using the back of a wooden spoon, rub the potatoes through the strainer. Repeat the process to make a fine puree. Discard any pulp left in the strainer. Stir the remaining cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg into the puree and blend the mixture well.

Spoon the potato mixture into a large forcing bag fitted with a very large star-shaped nozzle. Pipe the mixture around the baking dish in decorative shapes.

Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

Remove the dish from the oven and serve immediately.

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