I’m sure you’ll agree, after a hard week there’s nothing better then an unctuous comforting Fish Pie to see you through to the weekend. This really is my idea of ‘happy food’. Friday is my favourite day of the week, always has been and I’m guessing it is the same for most people. When it hits 5pm, that ‘let your hair down moment’ when you reach for a glass of vino in preparation for a glorious meal and the anticipation of a nice relaxing couple of days ahead. Unless you have young children of course, then you can certainly take out the ‘relaxing’ part!
We have also discovered that Fish Pie doesn’t have to be expensive. A tip from Jamie has had us bargain hunting around the reduced isles of various supermarkets for the past month, resulting in a freezer full of meat and fish, all ready to be made onto some spectacular!
I believe the fish components for this meal came to a total of just over 5 pounds, not bad for a packet of King Prawns plus some Smoked Basa and Haddock boneless fillets (my husband insists on the necessity of a ‘smoky’ element to the dish).
The pie was adapted from two great recipes – (sometimes we like to mix it around and experiment a little, rather than sticking to one as you will probably have gathered – an idea is born and then all the relevant cook books come out, which makes for a very wide source of inspiration) we have Delia Smith’s base (‘Fisherman’s Pie recipe to be found in ‘Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course’ or at deliaonline.com) complimented by Jamie’s topping (‘Sweet Pea Fish Pie’ recipe to be found in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Save with Jamie’ or at jamieoliver.com).
What will you need in addition to your selected fish? The topping – potatoes, peas, butter, lemon zest and seasoning. The sauce – a pint of milk (half to be used as cooking liquor for the fish) flour, butter, capers, two hard boiled eggs, more seasoning and Dijon mustard.
This was the fish sitting in milk and butter all ready to be popped into the oven for 15 minutes on 200C/Gas Mark 6…
When you have made your lovely silky mash, you simply need to add your peas and lemon zest. The sauce is a béchamel with the addition of hard boiled eggs, capers and mustard. Once compiled and layered over the fish it’s going to need half an hour on 200C/Gas Mark 6. You should end up with something a little like this:
How did this thing of beauty taste I hear you ask? Well, the first fork full felt like pure decadence as I bit into a juicy king prawn, the flavour enhanced by the saltiness of the capers and the zing of the lemony peas within the creamy mash. Of course every mouthful was a bonus when I found a piece of egg – yet another complimentary texture to the béchamel (this definitely needs a hint of mustard to jazz it up might I add).
Everyone should sit down to this on a Friday. I opted to ditch the accompanying baked beans on the premise that this needed nothing but an appetite, although my other half reached for the Heinz. Sometimes we agree to disagree.