Monday, 23 February 2015

Recipe of the Month: Perfect Fish Pie

This month's recipe is a real treat. It's one of my favourite meals and is always a tasty hit with those who've tried it. I've amended the recipe over a number of years to perfect it, so I hope you like it!

Right, to begin, you'll need a medium and a large saucepan. In the medium saucepan add a whole broccoli stem, cut into small florets, and two sliced leeks. Cook these in boiling water for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel about 4 large potatoes and cut into chunks. These will form the mashed 'lid' of the pie. These will need to be cooked in the large pan in boiling water for about 20 minutes, or until soft.
After the 5 minutes is up, pour the broccoli and leeks into a colander and return the same pan to the heat (saving on washing up!) Melt about a 1cm thick piece of butter in this, cut from a block.
Once the butter is melted, add about 2 tablespoons of plain flour. stir these into a paste and let this cook off for a few minutes, keep an eye on it to ensure the mix doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan!
Once the mix has cooked off, turn the heat right down underneath and begin to add milk slowly, stirring constantly. If the mix begins to look lumpy don't worry, if you keep stirring and 'mash' the lumps against the side of the pan with the back of the wooden spoon they'll soon disappear. Once the sauce is a similar thickness to cream, add salt and pepper to season and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. 
Then add about a tablespoon of cream cheese to the mix. I like to use the garlic and  herb variety to add some extra flavour to the sauce, but its entirely left with you. Once these ingredients have been combined, the sauce should look like this. The cream cheese helps to thicken it slightly. If you feel the sauce is becoming too thick, just add a little more milk.
At this point I usually add a 'Fish Pie Mix' packet to the pan. This is usually pre-packed fresh raw fish (smoked haddock, cod and salmon) cut into chunks. However, if you prefer you can add other fish. I've also added prawns in the past too but for ease, and so I don't have to mess too much with the fish, the mixes are very good!
Add the broccoli and leeks to this mix too and transfer it into a pie dish. At this point also preheat the oven to 180Âșc.
The potatoes should now be cooked. Drain them and return to the pan. Add some butter and milk and mash them up. You can also add some cream cheese here too if you like, I'd used the last of mine in the sauce though so I didn't this time.
Once mashed, add the potato to the top of the pie, working from the outside inwards. Press it down and use a fork to create some swirly patterns on the top. Add some grated cheddar cheese for extra flavour.
Cook in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. This should be enough time to cook the fish inside the pie too.
And voila! A yummy pie to feed 4-6 people. It's also really tasty when zapped in the microwave for lunch the following day! 

Hope you like this recipe, if you have any questions or if you try it and like it, drop me a comment! x

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