An indulgent treat that dates back to the 1920s London Savoy. Made in lots of different ways, so don’t be afraid to fool around with this classic.
Bring some milk and flavourings (onions, cloves, parsley, thyme, whatever you fancy) to the boil, take off the heat and let steep for a few minutes. Then bring back to the boil and submerge some smoked haddock in the liquid. Turn the heat off, pop a lid on the pan and leave to poach for about ten minutes until the fish flakes easily. After this, remove the fish and let cool until you can flake it up and remove the bones and skin. Strain the cooking liquid to remove any debris and set to one side.
In the same saucepan, melt some butter and add a little flour, stirring continuously, on a low heat for a few minutes to gently cook the flour. This should make a tight paste. Then, slowly add some of the strained milk you cooked the haddock in. Keep stirring and warming the mix for about five to ten minutes, until you get a wallpaper consistency. Season with salt and pepper (a little mustard is nice, too) and take off the heat.
In a large frying pan, gently melt a good dollop of butter. Whisk your eggs and add to the pan. Stirring with a wooden spoon for a moment or two. Then, when the base starts to set and the top is still liquid, sprinkle some parmesan cheese (or any cheese is good) and add the poached haddock to the top. Now is the point to pour a little of your bechamel sauce over the top. You can add other things to the bechamel sauce first if you like, hollandaise or egg yolks or crème fraiche are all quite common additions. It all adds to the adventure.
Place the pan under a hot grill for a moment to caramelise the top for a golden colour. Serve and eat immediately. If you’re just making it for yourself, eat it straight from the pan.