There are certain fresh ingredients I like to have to hand, versatile, easy to transform into a meal for one. No waste. Tasty cheese, streaky bacon, pasta or good olive oil, all can be easily transformed into a meal.

Undyed smoked haddock is a case in point. It is great value, can sit in the fridge for four or five days and, with very little work, can be easily transformed into Cullen Skink, smoked haddock quiche, fishcakes or a tasty kedgeree.

If I’m eating alone it makes a satisfying, no-fuss delicious supper for one; great for eating in front of the telly.



1 undyed smoked haddock, per person

120 ml full-fat milk

1 fresh bay leaf

blob unsalted butter

black pepper

Handful flat-leaf parsley,

finely chopped


Press it all over to remove any small bones and rinse in cold water. Lay flat in a shallow pan and barely cover with full-fat milk.

Add a fresh bay leaf, a few whole peppercorns, and a blob of unsalted butter.

Put the saucepan on a low heat and gradually warm until the milk just comes up to a gentle simmer for five minutes. Don’t let the milk boil.

Take off the heat and leave in a warm place. The fish changes texture and is cooked and ready to eat. Check the seasoning. You will not need to add salt. Serve with a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley.

This is perfect with crusty bread to dip in the milk or served with a hot, creamy mash.


Pre-heat oven gas 4/180˚C



1-1½kg floury potatoes, Maris Piper or

King Edwards.


125ml warm semi-skimmed milk

125g unsalted butter plus a little extra

1 fresh bay leaf

2-3 handfuls fresh breadcrumbs

½ tsp mustard powder

2-3 tbsp grated strong cheddar, Mull or Loch Arthur.



Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into equal sized pieces. Cover with cold water, add a teaspoon of salt and boil for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

Drain and set aside in the pot in a warm place.

Warm the milk, butter and bay leaf in a saucepan and as soon as the butter has melted, remove the bay leaf.

Pour the hot liquid over the potatoes. Mash them on a low heat until they are perfectly creamy and fluffy.

For added deliciousness:

Spread the potatoes in a buttered heat-proof dish.

Mix the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, mustard powder and ground pepper and sprinkle over the mash.

Dot with extra blobs of butter and a grating of nutmeg.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.