Plokkfiskur (Icelandic Fish Stew)
While Americans might define this as a casserole, they certainly won't argue about it's status as a comfort food. Creamy, salty, and cheesy, this heart-warming dish makes for a delicious, simple meal, ready in under an hour.
- 1 pound potatoes peeled and diced
- 2 small yellow onions diced
- 1 clove garlic diced
- 1 pound white fish filets cod, haddock, or pollock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour can substitute gluten-free flour
- 1 cup whole milk can substitute fish broth
- ½ teaspoon salt plus 2 tablespoons for cooking fish
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard optional
- White pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded Havarti cheese
Place fish in saucepan over medium heat and cover with water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the fish is flaky. Drain and set aside. If making your dish dairy-free, reserve 1 cup of this broth for later use.
In a large pot, cover diced potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, before mixing in garlic.
Add flour and cook until the mixture bubbles.
Slowly stir in milk and mustard before adding the white fish. Break apart the fish as you stir it into the mixture.
Stir in potatoes until the mixture is roughly homogenous. Season to taste with white pepper. You can transfer to bowls and serve it now, or continue for au gratin treatment.
Transfer to heatproof baking dish (8”x8” or 7”x10”) and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Place under the broiler set to high heat for 2 minutes, or until the cheese starts to caramelize.
Remove from oven and serve hot. For an authentic presentation, serve with rye bread and grass-fed butter.
- Most traditional recipes omit the garlic and only some include the mustard. Season to your own taste!
- If you have an Ikea nearby, you can substitute herrgård cheese for the havarti, for a more traditional Scandanavian flavor.
- For a dairy free version, you can omit the cheese and substitute the whole milk with 1 cup of the water in which the fish was boiled.