Potato, herb and smoked salmon gratin


serves 6
400 ml (14 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
3 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
50 g (1 3/4 oz), peeled weight, onion, sliced
85 g (3 oz) leek, chopped
100 g (3 1/2 oz) lightly cured smoked salmon, finely sliced into strips
350 g (12 oz), peeled weight, potatoes, cut into 2 mm (1/16 inch) slices
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
15 ml sp (1 tbsp) finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
35 g (1 1/4 oz) watercress


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Line the base of a 19 cm (7 1/2 inch) sandwich tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Pour the milk into a large, heavy-based saucepan, add the cloves, bay leaves, onion, leek and smoked salmon and heat over a low heat.

3. When the milk is just about to reach simmering point, carefully remove the smoked salmon with a slotted spoon and leave to cool on a plate.

4. Add the potatoes to the milk and stir with a wooden spoon. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking, for 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are just beginning to soften and the milk has thickened slightly from the potato starch. Remove the cloves and bay leaves.

5. Add the herbs, mustard and pepper and stir well. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Cover with a layer of greaseproof paper and then foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven and place a saucepan on top. Leave to cool for 20 minutes before turning out onto a baking sheet. Put under a preheated hot grill to brown the top. Cut the gratin into 6 wedges and serve with the smoked salmon, tossed with the watercress.

¢â‚¬Â¢ This gratin can be made in advance and then quickly reheated in the microwave to serve.

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