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Tag Archives: mashed potato

Fish Pie

I’ve been experimenting with fish pies recently, with the memory of a great fish pie cooked for me by an Englishman who clearly knows his pies and his fish. Thank you Ken, for your inspiration!

My version is quite simple – smoked fish fillets and poached fresh fish, with some braised leeks, in a white sauce. Topped off with creamy mashed potato and a liberal scattering of grated cheddar. Great on the day, and even tastier reheated the next day, too, when the flavours have developed.

These quantities make a very substantial pie for two, or would serve four with smaller portions too. Double the quantities for a really big pie!

Ingredients 

4 large potatoes, good for mashing

3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon butter

300 mls full fat milk

1/2 tablespoon olive oil 

2 leeks

100g white fish

150g smoked mackerel 

150g hot smoked salmon

1 tablespoon plain flour 

75g cheddar cheese, grated 

Method

Wash the potatoes thoroughly and place whole into a large saucepan. Cover completely with water. Bring to the boil and cook on a medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through. Be careful not to overcook – you don’t want the potatoes breaking up. Remove from the heat and strain in a colander.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel quickly and place the still warm potatoes in a bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons butter and 50 mls of milk. Season with salt to taste. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes really well with the butter and milk, making sure there are no lumps.You can of course adjust the butter and milk amounts to personal taste and because potatoes do vary, requiring more or less butter/milk to get the right consistency.

Cover the mashed potato bowl with aluminium foil to keep warm.

Wash the leeks well and slice into ½ cm rounds. Heat 1 teaspoon butter with the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the leeks and cook over a low heat until the leeks are soft, about 15-20 minutes. Just make sure temperature is low and the leeks don’t brown. Once cooked, remove from the heat.

Heat the remaining 250 mls milk in a wide saucepan until just at a simmer. Place the white fish fillet into the milk, and continue to simmer and let the fish cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Check if the fish fillet is cooked by putting a skewer into the thickest part of the fish. If the skewer goes in easily and is also easy to remove, it should be cooked. 

Remove the fillet carefully with a slotted spoon. Roughly break into chunks. Strain the poaching milk into a bowl or jug.

There’s no need to cook the mackerel and salmon, just break into chunks.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

To make the white sauce, melt 1 tablespoon butter, over a low heat, in the saucepan in which you poached the fish. Add the plain flour, and mix together to a smooth paste, making sure to use a wooden spoon. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the poaching milk, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, combining the paste with the milk. Turn the heat to medium, bring to the boil, then reduce to low and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened, stirring regularly. Season generously with salt and cracked pepper.

To assemble the pie, place the leek slices and fish chunks in a baking dish. Gently stir through the white sauce. Top with the mashed potato, roughing up the potato with a fork for a little artistry. Scatter the grated cheddar over the pie.

Cook the fish pie in the preheated oven for a 20-30 minutes or until the potato is brown and the mixture underneath is bubbling.

Serve with a green salad and chunky sourdough, or just on its own. I had some beautiful young garlic from a spring harvest market, so I roasted those with the pie. Really delicious!

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Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Pea Fish Pie

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Fish and mashed potato are a lovely combination in this pie. From Save With Jamie, the recipe is great because it uses frozen fish fillets, which means you can pull the fish out of the freezer and create the dish without much pre-planning.  Everyone has potatoes on hand, and the peas are frozen too.

I made a few changes to the recipe – I cut the quantities down by half (to serve four), and used salmon fillets only instead of additional white fish and prawns. And I left out the carrots.

So this is the recipe I made, followed by Jamie’s original recipe with quantities for eight and salmon, white fish and prawns, and carrots.

And I have now had feedback that my tweaked recipe works – my friend Katrina,  recently wed,  has cooked the dish – and here is the picture to prove it! Looks yummy!

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Ingredients

500 g potatoes

1 lemon

20 g unsalted butter

200 g frozen peas

1 onion chopped

Olive oil

250ml semi-skimmed milk

300 g frozen salmon fillets

35 g plain flour

50 g frozen spinach

1/2 heaped teaspoon  mustard

20 g cheddar cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees fan forced.

Peel the potatoes and cut into large even-sized chunks, then put them into a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and mash with a pinch of salt and pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter. Place the frozen peas in a colander, pour over some boiling water to defrost them, then drain well and pulse a few times in a food processor. Fold them through the mashed potato, then leave to one side.

Add the chopped onion and cook in a large ovenproof pan with a lug of oil for 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a saucepan pan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add the frozen fish fillets for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate, taking the saucepan off the heat.

Stir the flour into the onion, then gradually add the milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. Stir in the spinach until broken down, then season. Flake in the fish fillets (carefully remove and discard the skin if the fillets have it), add the  mustard and the juice from half the lemon, grate in the cheese and stir gently to combine. Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork to give it great texture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until crisp on top.

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Jamie’s original recipe

Ingredients

1kg potatoes

1 lemon

40g unsalted butter

400g frozen peas

2 carrots

2 onions

Olive oil

500ml semi-skimmed milk

2 x 150g frozen salmon fillets, from sustainable sources

2 x 100g frozen white fish fillets, from sustainable sources

65g plain flour

100g frozen spinach

125g frozen cooked peeled prawns, from sustainable sources

1 heaped teaspoon English mustard

40g cheddar cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Peel the potatoes and cut into large even-sized chunks, then put them into a large pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and mash with a pinch of salt and pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter. Place the frozen peas in a colander, pour over some boiling water to defrost them, then drain well and pulse a few times in a food processor. Fold them through the mashed potato, then leave to one side.

Peel and chop the carrots and onions and cook them in a large ovenproof pan (roughly 30cm in diameter) with a lug of oil for 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a pan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add the frozen fish fillets for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate, taking the pan off the heat.

Stir the flour into the carrots and onions, then gradually add the milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. Stir in the spinach until broken down, then season to perfection. Flake in the fish fillets (carefully remove and discard the skin if the fillets have it), add the prawns, mustard and the juice from half the lemon, grate in the Cheddar and stir gently to combine. Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork to give it great texture. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until beautifully golden. Serve with a good old helping of baked beans (if you like) – delicious!

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