Friday, October 10, 2008

Potato and Kipper Gratin

Yup. I said kippers.

I had never had them before today. I bought a tin a couple weeks back, for reasons that completely escape me. Perhaps there were no reasons. I was completely prepared to hate this dish. MIL said she wasn't even going to try it.

I followed the recipe from Epicurious (Gourmet, January 1995) almost exactly, except I used half the called-for amount of capers, and less onion.

Basically, you slice a russet potato very thin, lay half of the slices in a dish, sprinkle with capers and chopped onion, scatter your bits o' kipper, then layer on the rest of the potato. Salt and pepper, then a cup of heavy cream, and bake at 450 for 30 minutes. The original recipe said 20 minutes, but my potatoes weren't done, and there wasn't that happy crustiness until 30 minutes.

This dish was so good. I'm now thoroughly convinced that anything with potatoes and cream in it is delicious, even if the other ingredients are potentially nasty. It was rich and creamy (duh), with a smokiness from the fish, and only a very slight tang from the capers (I was expecting much more tang, and I'm glad my expectations were not met).

I'm thinking that this would make a good brunch dish, with a salad dressed with something vinegary, to cut the creaminess. But we ate it right out of the dish, standing at the kitchen counter.


Kitt said...

Even MIL?

Truly, I wouldn't expect to like a kipper dish. Then again, I'd never buy kippers just because.

On the other hand, I am not fond of plain ol' anchovies, but think they're great in dishes where they're just part of the backnotes.

Hmm. Mmmmmmaybe ...

Vicki said...

Hey Kitt -
Yup, even MIL, whose personal mantra is "I hate fish".
I think it had something to do with the smoked-ness of the kippers, transforming it into something vaguely bacony.

Rindy R said...

First of all - I'm am so proud of a person who could just haphazardly BUY the kipper's - let alone use them in a dish. The dish looks amazing - and I'm sure I would love it, but I must admit I never would have had the guts to make it - until now! Good Job!

kat said...

I think I'd be a little scared to try it too

Vicki said...

Hi Rindy & Kat -
Believe me, I was a little hesitant! And then absolutely shocked when the first bite didn't make me hurl :)

Betts said...

I love kippers. I used to beg my mother to buy them when I was a kid. I'll bet I'd love this dish, but I'm not certain about the rest of the family.

Vicki said...

Hi Betts -
I'm so glad I tried kippers, too bad it's not on Omnivore's 100! The dish got 3 thumbsup and 1 wrinkled nose. I call that successful.