Fish Pie

Not yet a recipe that helps anybody! Just something I made last week – and it worked.

Ingredients

  • Fillets of white and yellow fish (roughly 3 parts white, 1 part yellow); the thicker and chunkier the better. Haddock, cod, pollock, or whiting (often the generic “white fish fillets” in the supermarket freezer are whiting).
    • No salmon, shrimps, or prawns, please.
    • And certainly no basa, cobbler, river cobbler, Vietnamese cobbler, or whatever else it may be called this week.
  • milk
  • onions
  • good bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • potatoes
  • garlic
  • and a little flour/cornflour.
  • seasoning – salt, pepper, small piece of bay leaf
  • grated cheese
  • optional – frozen peas, or spinach

Method

  • Poach the fish fillets gently in milk (with a little salt and pepper, and a small piece of bay leaf); only for a few minutes until almost done, almost flaking (but not quite). Put to one side.
  • Put a couple of chopped onions on to fry VERY slowly – so that they are soft and just starting to colour after 20 minutes. Add the chopped parsley stalks about half way through.
  • Peel the potatoes, and boil in salted water with 3 or 4 unpeeled garlic cloves until well-cooked. Drain. Remove the garlic peels. Break up perhaps half the potatoes, to get a real rough mixture of “mash ‘n chunks”, with “garlicky bits”. Don’t mix evenly – it’s a much nicer surprise to find the odd sweet and garlicky mouthful.
  • [Add peas, or chopped (sweated and squeezed) spinach.]
  • Back to the onions – add a little flour to the pan and cook through for a couple of minutes. Add the milk from the poached fish and heat until the sauce thickens. Add more liquid if necessary – I wanted a thinnish white sauce (just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but not much thicker). Season to taste – salt and black pepper, (MAYBE a wee pinch of herbs, but just a tiny pinch), and a good handful of chopped parsley leaves.
  • Pile the potatoes in a greased dish; add poached fish; pour over the sauce. Mix a little bit, but only to break the fish into chunks, and get the sauce in to the corners. Rough ‘n ready; mixed bites and chunks, with creamy sauced mash in between.
  • Add a generous grating of good cheese – and pop into the oven until top is well browned.
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