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Who doesn’t love a dauphinoise? This one is extra special with some smoked mackerel and is a meal in itself with some green salad on the side.

Wine Suggestion: Chardonnay is not commonly found in the Loire, but there are gems to be found, especially around the appellation of Cheverny where it is brilliantly blended with Sauvignon Blanc. Tonight an outlier from Touraine, Domaine Bellevue’s IGP Chardonnay. Classic crisp red apple flavours with layers of tropical and citrus notes; good body but without any flabby weight. Perfect for fish and dairy combination

Smoked mackerel dauphinoise – serves 4

  • 900g potatoes
  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • a small clove of garlic, crushed
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 225g smoked mackerel, skin and bones removed and flaked into chunky pieces
  • a small handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Peel the potatoes and slice very thinly, a mandoline is the best job for this but watch your fingers. Dry the potatoes slices with a clean cloth, then spread out and season with salt and black pepper, mixing with your hands.

Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Cover, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the cream, garlic and a generous grating of nutmeg and continue simmering for another 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the potatoes sticking to the pan. As soon as the potatoes are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and put a layer into a large ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the mackerel and parsley, then cover with the rest of the potatoes. Pour the creamy liquid over the top. Put some water into the base of a large roasting tin and set the potato dish into the tin, the water should come about half-way up the sides. Bake the dish in the oven for 10 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.

(Original recipe from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course, Kyle Cathie Limited, 2001.)

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