Nigel Slater’s smoked haddock and sweetcorn recipe


The recipe

Peel a medium onion, halve it and chop it fairly finely, then let it soften in 2 tbsp of olive oil over a moderate heat. Stir regularly so the onion doesn’t colour. Remove the leaves and silky fibres from 2 large ears of corn then slice the kernels from the cobs.

Stir the corn into the onions, then add 200ml of milk and the same of water. Add a couple of bay leaves and a grinding of black pepper and let it come almost to the boil. Lower the heat and leave the milk and sweetcorn to simmer until almost tender. Lower in 2 pieces of smoked haddock fillet, each about 300g in weight. Partially cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 6-8 minutes until the fish is tender.

Lift out the fish and keep warm. Tip the corn and milk into a blender or food processor, add a small bunch of parsley, a handful of leaves will be perfect, and process to a rough purée. Check the seasoning then pour into shallow bowls. Place a piece of smoked haddock on top of each and serve immediately. Enough for 2.

The trick

The fish needs very little time in which to cook, depending on its thickness. Eight minutes is enough for the thickest of fillets. Once a flake can be prized away from its neighbour with ease, the fish is ready.

The twist

The beauty of this is that you can use frozen or canned sweetcorn, making this a recipe for all year. Other vegetables can be incorporated, such as peas and very finely diced tomatoes. In cold weather, I like to include diced potatoes, too. Tarragon or dill, finely chopped, is a delightful addition.


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