Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cor blimey, it's a fish pie!

I was aimlessly browsing the Internet for new Western recipes to expand our very limited repertoire when I stumbled across this BBC Good Food recipe for fish pie. Fish pie is the quintessential British dish, arguably as emblematic as fish and chips or bangers and mash. Just the other day, I was at Marks and Spencers and noticed that they had a new selection of ready freezer foods, including several types of fish pies (and a very yummy looking sticky toffee pudding but I digress).

It was the picture on the website that convinced me to try it. My family loves practically anything with a cream sauce like pasta and gratin. Plus it was a one-dish meal which is always attractive for busy people like us!

So I gave it a go two nights ago, adjusting the recipe to suit our tastes (and ingredients that I had). Usually, I'll need to repeat and alter recipes a couple of times to get them just right but amazingly, this one turned out to be practically perfect the first time. Lesley-Anne and Andre loved it, even Kenneth, the biggest critic, declared it "very credible".

So readers, here you go - my fish pie recipe, complete with pictures. Please note though that the ingredients and method I've listed are only for the pie filling. For the mashed potato topping, check out my shepherd's pie recipe.


400g skinless white fish fillet (I used frozen sutchi fillet)
400g skinless salmon
500ml milk
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 small onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
small bunch parsley, leaves only, chopped
50g butter
40g plain flour
50g cheddar , grated
black pepper

Fish pie
  1. Poach the fish. Put the fish, celery, onion and bay leaves in a large pot. Add paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the milk over the ingredients and bring to the boil - you will see a few small bubbles. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 mins.

  2. Lift the fish and celery onto a plate and strain the milk into a jug to cool. Flake the fish into large pieces in the baking dish. Add the celery.

  3. Scatter the chopped parsley over the fish.

  4. Make the sauce. Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 min over moderate heat. Take off the heat, pour in a little of the poaching milk, then stir until blended. Continue to add the milk gradually, mixing well until you have a smooth sauce. Return to the heat, bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins, stirring continually, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, then pour over the fish.

  5. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Pile the mashed potatoes on top of the fish mixture, leaving no gaps. Sprinkle with cheese.

  6. I love the extra zing of paprika so I usually sprinkle some on top.

  7. Bake for 30 mins or until top is golden brown.
The result is a very creamy, succulent and hearty pie. It's also relatively healthier than its meat cousins because it's all fish and I added celery for the veg. Although the original recipe calls for full cream milk, I used low fat milk and it was still tasty.

Fish pies are extremely versatile because you can substitute many of the ingredients. You add use prawns or scallops in place of some of the fish to have a seafood pie, similar to what some cafes here serve in individuals portions. Some recipes I've seen add carrots, peas or corn, basically whatever you like!


Anonymous said...

Yum Yum...the fish pie looks so appetising! *drool*


monlim said...

Thanks!! If your dd loves cream sauce, I would definitely recommend trying this recipe :)

Anonymous said...

Yes she loves anything creamy and cheesy. :)


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