As we head into the colder
season, the summer's grilled sea bass with a wedge
of lemon no longer does the trick and we crave
something a little more substantial. Fish Pie
is wonderful comfort food and should be enjoyed
as the indulgence it is.
For home cooks who feel slightly out of their
depth when it comes to cooking fish, the Larder's
fresh seasonal fish is perfect to set you up for
a delicious supper. When buying fillet portions
there is no need for boning, skinning or filleting.
There is no denying that making Fish Pie involves
several pots and pans and has a tendency to create
a bit of mess in the kitchen. Don't let that put
you off. Start with an empty dishwasher and bung
all your rinsed pans in as you go along or get
a member of your family to clear away after you.
the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
2. Peel the
potatoes and cut into large chunks then put them
in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil.
Simmer until tender.
3. Peel the
carrots, cut into finger length pieces then slice
lengthways and cut into matchsticks. Top and tail
the leek, discard the outer layer only if it is
very leathery, cut in half lengthways then across
to create pieces the same length as the carrot
and stack the layers of leek on your chopping
board and cut into matchsticks. Place the sticks
of leek in a sieve and rinse under running cold
water. Drain and pat dry.
5. If using
dill, pick the fronds and discard the thicker
stalks. Gather the fronds in a pile and chop finely.
If using flat leaf parsley, remove the stalks
and chop the leaves finely.
6. Heat a
small knob of butter and a little olive oil in
a pan. Add the carrot and leek, turn the heat
right down, cover with a lid and let the carrot
and leek sweat and soften in the pan for 5-6 minutes,
7. In a separate
saucepan, melt 55g/2oz of butter. Stir in the
flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat
and gradually stir in the white wine, then the
milk. Return to the heat and bring slowly to the
boil, stirring constantly. When thickened, season
well with salt and pepper. Add a small pinch of
Cayenne pepper then stir in the cream and chopped
dill or parsley.
8. When the
potatoes are soft, drain; then cover the pan with
a clean tea towel for a couple of minutes. This
will help absorb moisture.
9. Mash the
potatoes or push through a potato ricer. Add 25g/1oz
butter and 4 tablespoons of cream and beat with
a wooden spoon until fluffy. Season with salt
and pepper. Add a little extra butter or cream
if you think the mash looks too dry, but you don't
want it too soft.
the white fish for any stray bones by running
your fingers up and down the fillets. Cut into
generous chunks. Pull the skin off the trout fillets.
the raw fish in an earthenware dish, add the smoked
trout in generous flakes and spread the soft carrot
and leek over the fish.
12. If using
prawns, add the thawed and drained prawns now.
13. Pour the
sauce over the fish then top with the mash, using
a wooden spoon to pull up little mounds to encourage
lovely brown peaks.
14. Bake in
the middle of the oven for approximately 30-40
with green peas and/or a mixed green salad.
provided by www.cambridgecookeryschool.com