Smoked Haddock Risotto with Spinach

The best way I know to feed three hungry people with one fillet of smoked haddock.

Serves 3, generously

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 40 min

400g naturally smoked haddock

2 bay leaves

4 black peppercorns

1 small onion

50g butter

175g risotto rice

glass of white wine

2 tsp Dijon mustard

100g small leaf spinach

4 tbsp finely grated Parmesan plus extra to serve

2 tbsp snipped chives

     Place the fish in a pan that can accommodate it in a single layer. Add bay, 1 litre water and peppercorns. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the fish is just cooked through. Leave the fish to cool in the pan while you cook the next stage of the risotto. Halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Melt the butter in a wide-based pan with a capacity of at least 2 litres. Stir in the onion and cook gently for about 8 minutes until wilted. Meanwhile, flake the fish off the bones onto a plate in bite-sized chunks. Stir the unwashed rice into the onion and cook for a couple of minutes until all the grains are covered with butter. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the mustard and then add a ladleful of strained hot fish water (I find it easier to strain it into a clean pan and reheat, keeping it at a gentle simmer). Cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until absorbed into the rice, continue thus until all the liquid is used up or the rice is creamy but still retains a bite at the centre. Stir in the washed spinach, stirring until wilted and melting against the rice. Stir 2 tbsp Parmesan into the risotto, then the flaked fish and any juices. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, give a final stir, dredge with Parmesan and garnish with the chives. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan.