Cheesy Hake Bake

Just this last week I had one of those days where I really wished that I had a wife.  One that would have dinner cooked for me when I got home; one that would have remembered to buy bread and milk; one that would have thought to pack in a much needed swimming towel for swimming lessons; and most definitely one that would take sweaty, unruly kiddos with stinky hair and magically turn them into kissable and sweet smelling little angels in soft pajamas by 7 pm.

With a giant Le Sigh, I have accepted that employing a wife of my own is rather unlikely. What I have realized though is that if I intend to keep order on this family train and make it through the gazillion birthday parties, multiple end of year what nots and the looming Christmas mayhem, I may need to revisit that old organizational habit of keeping…now what is that thing called again?  Ah yes a diary!

My Most-Improved-Homemaker self hereby undertakes to a) buy a notebook; b) write things down in notebook; c) refer to actual notebook and/ or d) regard said notebook as a useful tool and remember to take it along on errands.  (I have also promised Pretty Girl that I will in future try desperately hard to remember to bring along a towel to swimming lessons, and I did rather reluctantly agree that running around really fast is not in fact exactly the same as drying yourself off really quickly with a towel.)

I am also simplifying our dinner situation by revisiting some old family favourites that can be whipped up in no time, and which can, without too much effort on the part of the cook, sooth the after effects of even the craziest and meanest of days.

There is nothing remotely grand about my Cheesy Hake Bake, known simply as Cheesy Fish around here.  It is homey and simple and together with brown rice and salad falls right into the middle of everyday cooking.  Perhaps the very reason it may find itself on your dinner table this week?

I took Pretty Girl with me to buy the fish, and she watched enthralled as the fish monger scaled, beheaded and filleted our hake.  She was very proud to announce over dinner that she saw this fish’s “gory guts”!  I suspect that my lesson on fish sustainability may have fallen on deaf ears.  That being said, please remember to ONLY buy sustainable fish, ONLY that which is on the green list.  You can visit SASSI for more information or to see what else is on the green list, click here.

This dish is a fabulous way to enjoy fresh sustainable hake; think of it as my take on the old classic Fish Mornay.


4.5 from 2 reviews
Cheesy Hake Bake
Serves: 6
  • 6 portions fresh Hake Fillet (±150 – 180g each)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 Tbsps. butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 3 Tbsps. flour
  • 2 cups milk, warm
  • 1 cup grated Gouda cheese
  • ¼ cup snipped chives
  • Salt, Pepper Nutmeg
  • 6 portions cooked brown rice
  • Fresh salad
  1. Place the fish fillets in a baking dish.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Squeeze over the lemon juice.
  4. Set aside.
  5. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.
  6. Add the garlic, lemon zest and Dijon mustard and toss for a few minutes without burning or colouring the garlic.
  7. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour.
  8. Whisk in the milk and continue whisking till smooth and thick.
  9. Cook over low heat for a few minutes to cook out the flour.
  10. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese.
  11. Once the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth stir in the snipped chives.
  12. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  13. Pour the warm sauce over the fish.
  14. Bake in a preheated oven at 180˚C for 20 – 30 minutes until the fish is firm to the touch.
  15. Serve over the brown rice with a fresh salad.

14 Comments on Cheesy Hake Bake

  1. Jeanne
    October 31, 2013 at 11:16 am (6 years ago)

    Hah – yes, I’d like to employ a wife too!! 🙂 Love this recipe, which is very similar to one my mom used to make. Also, how I miss hake… Almost never see it here in the UK.

    • Sam Taylor
      October 31, 2013 at 11:29 am (6 years ago)

      Jeanne it is so old school, but sometimes in the midst of all the innovation, we forget how great old school is. I am single handedly advocating the return of old school for the normal Everyday. (PS Do you remember back in the day you could buy haddock in cheese sauce?)

  2. Anina Meyer
    October 31, 2013 at 1:27 pm (6 years ago)

    Yes! This is a perfect go-to recipe for Hake. Sometimes I look at that piece of fish and think “really, lemon butter again?” So this will be the next fishy dinner in our house! Good luck with the notebook…

    • Sam Taylor
      October 31, 2013 at 5:16 pm (6 years ago)

      It is grand! Let me know how it turns out!

  3. I . W. Mcfarlane
    October 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm (6 years ago)

    Sam, this sounds like a rather delicious dish. I am wondering how long does it take to prepare this dish?

    • Sam Taylor
      October 31, 2013 at 5:17 pm (6 years ago)

      Hi there I.W. You can whip up the cheese sauce in about 10 – 15 minutes and then it will take another 20/25 minutes to bake, so at most 45 minutes from start to table. Have a great day!

  4. anna @ annamayeveryday
    November 1, 2013 at 11:30 am (6 years ago)

    Love this, there are never enough hours in the day to get it all done. Saying that, I am sitting here reading your blog rather than doing the ironing…… the hake looks delicious.

    • Sam Taylor
      November 4, 2013 at 10:17 am (6 years ago)

      I don’t really understand what you mean by ironing, but if it means putting your feet up and having a cuppa I think you should do it 😉

  5. minx
    January 24, 2014 at 11:24 am (6 years ago)

    Going to try this I usually use the fish for pickle fish or fresh fish curry. Love how simple this one seems.

  6. Sam Taylor
    January 24, 2014 at 11:50 am (6 years ago)

    Hi Minx! It is absolutely as simple as it sounds. I made this again just last week, my kiddos think I could be on MasterChef whenever I serve it, so its an excellent confidence booster too.

  7. Rochell
    November 28, 2017 at 12:53 pm (2 years ago)

    What a fantastic dish! It’s going to be a definite repeat in my home. I used German mustard and left out the chives on my first try and it still turned out DELISH! Thank you so much

    • sam
      December 2, 2017 at 2:07 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Rochell – thank you for stopping by. This is still such a firm favourite in our house. I love recipes that still taste great when you make them your own. Love the feedback! Sam

  8. Lovaine Atherton
    July 30, 2018 at 9:26 pm (1 year ago)

    Needed something different tonight and it was so quick and easy.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Love from South Africa

    • sam
      July 31, 2018 at 10:35 am (1 year ago)

      Hi Lovaine! Thank you for brining me back to this, we have the perfect weather for this recipe today. Thrilled that is was a success for you. Sam


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