I am inspired by the stories and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Norwegian cooking at its simplest and most elaborate. That’s what you will find here. Seasonal cooking, local ingredients, local artisans, and simple gatherings.  READ MORE...

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January 2024

January 23, 2024

Bacon, Leek & Rosemary Fiskegrateng (fish casserole)

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bacon fish casserole (fiskegrateng)
bacon fish casserole (fiskegrateng)

Fiskegrateng (fish casserole) is a classic Norwegian dish filled with nostalgia and comfort. It has been showing up in homes and cookbooks during the 20th and 21st century, possibly even before, as an ideal way to use up leftover fish or just serve fish for dinner that everyone is bound to enjoy. 

I wanted to add a little variation on my previously shared fiskegrateng. This time, it features salty bacon, fresh rosemary in the garlicky breadcrumbs, and sauteed leeks. The result is a creamy and fluffy casserole that’s flavorsome, but not heavy. Fresh, but at the same time warming.

It’s an easy weekday meal served with a side salad or a cozy weekend dinner, especially during the colder months. It’s quite forgiving as well, and you can make it your own, perhaps with a bit more fish, coarser breadcrumbs, a thinner sauce, herbs on hand, or even without the macaroni. No matter what, a bubbling casserole right out of the oven that’s just waiting to be cracked into is a sign of a good meal ahead.

bacon fish casserole (fiskegrateng)
bacon fish casserole (fiskegrateng)
bacon fish casserole (fiskegrateng)
bacon fish casserole (fiskegrateng)
bacon fish casserole (fiskegrateng)

Bacon, Leek and Rosemary Fiskegrateng (Fish Casserole)

Serves 6

  • 1 cup (150 g) dried macaroni
  • 18 ounces (500 g) boneless and skinless white fish, such as cod (frozen, fresh, or cooked)
  • 5 ounces (140 g) bacon, diced
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 6 tablespoons (84 g) butter
  • 4 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

For the breadcrumbs:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup (60 g) breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper

In a medium-sized pot, cook the macaroni in salted water over medium-high heat until al dente. Remove the macaroni with a slotted spoon, leaving the water, and set aside. Add the fish to the pasta water (unless you are using leftover cooked fish), and cook for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Strain the fish and, using a fork, flake the fish into bite-size pieces.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F.

In a large saucepan, heat a dash of oil over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until just starting to turn crispy and brown. Add the sliced leeks and sauté until golden brown. Transfer the bacon and leeks to a bowl and set aside.

For the sauce, using the same pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is foamy, whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the warmed milk and continue to whisk until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon and leeks. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.

For the breadcrumbs, in a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook for 1 minute longer, until toasted and fragrant. Set aside.

Separate the egg whites and egg yolks.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites by hand until fluffy. Pour the eggs yolks into the warm bacon and leek sauce, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated. Stir in the egg whites. Add the macaroni and fish, and gently fold everything together. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 inch (23×33 cm) casserole dish, and top evenly with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Nevada Berg

Nevada is a utah native and norwegian by heart. When not crafting culinary delights she enjoys her family time and tending to her animals. You most certainly can find her perusing her property for wild berries.

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  1. Diane says:

    What a great dish and plenty for 6. I served it with roast winter vegetables and a glass of riesling, lovely.

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