Persuading children to eat fish can be a challenge, but not if you add it to a dish they already like, according to a chef from Iceland.
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Persuading children to eat fish can be a challenge, but not if you add it to a dish they already like, according to a chef from Iceland who bakes fish and mashes it into a comfortable stew. The best results are with fresh cod and smoked haddock, but leftover cooked fish also works, suggests Gisli Matt, chef at the southern Iceland restaurant Slippurinn. The recipe is one of 50 that chefs serve their children, collected in a new cookbook by New York food writer Joshua David Stein. Called Cooking For Your Kids (Phaidon/Canadian Manda Group, $49.95), it includes recipes from 30 countries. Stein believes in family dinners. “We become who we are around the tables of our childhood,” he writes, and calls the dinner table “a nightly clearing house.” Photo quality varies; each chef took their own photographs. Recipes are easy to make. I tried canned fish in this recipe and found it works well and also makes the dish even simpler to prepare.
Icelandic Fish Stew
3-1/2 tablespoons (50 mL) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon (1 mL) freshly grated nutmeg, or pinch dried
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons (30 mL) all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) milk
1 pound (500 g/3 medium) potatoes, peeled
1 bay leaf
8 ounces (250 g) fresh cod
8 ounces (250 g) smoked haddock
1 tablespoon (15 mL) prepared horseradish, or to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).
In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat butter over low-medium heat and cook onion, nutmeg, salt and pepper until onions soften, about 10 minutes.
Stir in flour and cook until mixture bubbles, about one minute. Then add milk and continue to cook, whisking together, until you have a chunky béchamel sauce, about five minutes.