The ultimate comfort food, Potatoes au Gratin made simply with sliced potatoes, Smoked Herrings, heavy cream, grated cheese, Noubess Hot Sauce and Noubess Seafood Seasoning.
In stressful times you become more creative with foods. This potatoes au gratin recipe was created using pantry ingredients. I learned from a long time ago that you must make do with what you have no matter what is going on in your life. Whether your personal life is affected by the outside world, being prepared, and being creative is part of your survival.
Thank goodness Potatoes are available year-round. They are best stored in dark, dry places at the coolest temperature. Please don’t refrigerate! So enough of this rambling! Let’s get started with this surprisingly easy and tasty recipe.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE POTATOES AU GRATIN WITH SMOKED HERRINGS
Before we get to the step-by-step instructions, a few important notes about the ingredients:
- Smoked Herrings: very salty, must be desalted at least 4-6 hours before making this recipe. Or follow the instructions below for a quick way to desalt the fish. Also buy fillets, much better and easier to handle.
- Grated Cheese: Parmesan, Asiago, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Havarti, and Gouda are all very flavorful cheeses. Some contain more sodium than others. Be sure to choose the right cheese for the right amount of smoked herrings.
- Potatoes: best to use russets potatoes. As it is recommended for baking but when you don’t have russets, use whatever potatoes you want. Taste is what matters. You have the heavy cream and cheese to create a milky and cheesy texture.
- Heavy Cream: this is a must to keep everything together. It will help bind all the ingredients. The alternative is to mix regular milk with a little bit of flour and melted butter or use a bechamel sauce.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes in oil: gives the fish a nice kick, a tangy but subtle taste. (if you use Sun-Dried Tomatoes, not in oil, soak in hot water for 2-3 minutes before chopping. Just enough time to plump up the tomatoes.
- Green and yellow bell peppers: for color and taste.
- Onion: mainly for taste. You can use scallions, shallots and even red onion.
- Lemon juice: fish always needs a little bit of acidity and lemon juice is the key to wake up its flavor.
- Noubess Original Hot and Spicy Sauce: a must for seasoning
- Noubess Fish Seasoning: helps revive the flavors of the smoked herrings after soaking and it is SALT-FREE
- Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil: always a must for cooking. Add flavor and good for your health.
HOW TO MAKE POTATOES AU GRATIN WITH SMOKED HERRINGS
Begin by desalting the smoked herrings at least 2 – 3 hours before cooking. Using 2 -3 fillets:
- Rinse the smoked herrings fillets under running water. In a large bowl, place the fillets with enough water to cover and let soak for at least an hour before changing the water. Let soak for at least 2 hours changing the water at least two times.
- An alternative way to desalt the fish is to 1) rinse the fillets under running water, removing all the salt on the flesh as much as you can. 2) Place the fillets in a pot filled with water and vinegar (6 cups water + 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar). Bring to a quick boil, a cook only for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, drain the water and give the fillet a quick rinse. Follow the instructions for the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Prepare the potatoes. Remove the skin, rinse well and slice the potatoes as thinly and uniformly as possible. When slicing the potatoes, place the slices in a bowl filled with water to keep them from turning brown.
- Remove as many small bones from the fillets. Cook the shredded smoked herrings with onion, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, Noubess hot sauce, and Noubess Seafood seasoning.
- Arrange all the ingredients in layers (potatoes, fish, and cheese) including heavy cream in a prepared baking dish and bake until the potatoes are fully cooked.
- I would advise not to add any salt because the cheese, heavy cream, sun-dried tomatoes, Noubess hot sauce, all contain a small amount of sodium.
- Do not add more than 3 smoked herrings for 3 – 4 medium size potatoes.
- Please note that I did not add a lot of heavy cream or a lot of cheese because I did not want the dish to be saucy or salty.
- There’s no need to add a full layer of smoked herrings on the potatoes. A small amount spread is enough.
- You can also make this recipe, Easy Smoked Herrings with Onions if you wish and layer al the ingredients before baking.
How to serve
The best way to serve this dish is with a lettuce salad or steamed vegetables. Try these other side dishes also:
- Spicy and Tangy Sauteed Asparagus Recipe
- Warm Cabbage Salad Recipe
- Quick and Easy Cucumber and Apple Salad
- A quick and easy Broccoli Salad