• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1-1 1/2 pounds haddock (or other thick, white fish), boned and cut into 2-inch
• 2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, thoroughly washed and sliced
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 1 1/4 cups milk
• 2 tablespoons of cream
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
• 2 tablespoons grated Irish cheddar cheese
• Fresh parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease an ovenproof casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Lay in the fish, skin side down.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining butter, add leeks and cook gently until the leeks begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until smooth, another 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cream, add the bay leaf and parsley, and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. When sauce is smooth, remove from heat and spoon over the fish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle cheese over the fish and place under the broiler until browned. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Serve with boiled potatoes and a fresh green vegetable or salad.
Variations: For a fish bake with spinach, layer 1 pound of fresh spinach, steamed for 1 to 2 minutes in 2 tablespoons of water, over the haddock and cook as above.
For a fish bake with potato crust, bake as above for 15 minutes, omit the grated cheese, add a layer of mashed potatoes and return to oven for final 10 minutes. Place under the broiler until browned.