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FISH PIE
(serves 6-8)

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.


1. Pre-heat 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 sticks.

4. Flatten 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, stirring occasionally.

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.

10. Check 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.

11. Place 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 minutes.

15. Serve with green peas and/or a mixed green salad.


Recipe provided by www.cambridgecookeryschool.com

INGREDIENTS

575g/1lb 1/4oz fillets of skinned, firm white fish such as Haddock, Cod, Pollack or Hake 150-175g smoked trout fillets


For the sauce:

55g/2oz 3-4 tablespoons plain flour

150ml/5fl oz dry white wine

325ml/11fl oz milk

4 tablespoons double cream

Maldon sea salt

Freshly ground black or white pepper

Pinch of Cayenne pepper


For the mash:

1.3kg/3lb floury potatoes

30g unsalted butter

4 tablespoons double cream

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Maldon sea salt

Freshly ground black or white pepper


1 leek

3 medium carrots

A small knob of butter

1/2 tablespoon olive oil


1 large bag of large North Atlantic frozen prawns (optional)

A bunch of fresh dill or flat leaf parsley

website by www.mackandme.com