Be careful to look at the colour when buying smoked haddock: there's an unnatural colouring that comes from dyeing the haddock before it's smoked, while traditional and quality smokers will get the colouring naturally via the smoking process, and tend to be drier too. You can get haddock hot- or cold-smoked, the difference being that the cold-smoked ones are cured but not cooked.
Simple and delicious, this quiche makes a great buffet dish or starter. As a kid growing up I used to enjoy making quiches with my mother. This one is easy to make, and you can vary the filling.
Ingredients (Serves 8)
150g leeks, finely chopped
50g onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped or crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g smoked haddock
Savoury pastry (for quiche base)
For the cream mixture 3 eggs
200ml haddock poaching milk
Preheat the oven to 140Â°C. Melt the butter in a pan, add the leeks, onions and garlic with some salt and pepper, and cook gently until soft. Leave to cool.
Cut the haddock into three pieces, place them in a flat-based pan and cover with the milk.
Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and poach the haddock until lightly cooked.
Remove the fish from the milk, reserving the milk, and leave to cool. Remove the skin, flake the fish and add to the leek mixture. Spread evenly over the base of your tart case.
Whisk the eggs, cream and poaching milk together. Pour the cream mixture into the tart case, on top of the leeks, then place in the oven for 25 minutes. Serve in slices, with a rocket salad dressed with a grain mustard vinaigrette.
Taken from ‘Michael Caines At Home' (Century, £25)
The key elements to think about in this dish are the potentially tricky smokiness of the haddock, and the richness of the sauce. A good Alsace Pinot Gris should have the right combination of fruit and acidity to keep step with the fish while having enough verve to cut through that creamy filling. 1er Cru Chablis with a touch of oak would be good here too, and Riesling also works well with smoked fish.
Zeren Wilson is a food writer and wine consultant