|Old-Fashioned Fish Pie with Cheesy Mash|
Every Tuesday I choose a different friend to be my tutor for a day: I select one of their original recipes, I make the recipe following my friend's instructions, I snap a multitude of pictures, I scarf down as much as my belt-line will permit - and then I share everything I love about my friend's recipe. Learn More
Today's Tuesday Tutor: Lavender and Lovage
One of the things I love most about Lavender and Lovage is the incredible variety of comforting fish and seafood recipes. I don't eat nearly as much seafood as I should given all the wonderful health benefits, and Karen's blog has helped nudge me in the right direction. When I spotted this old-fashioned fish pie with cheddar mashed potatoes, I couldn't resist attempting. If you're intrigued by this recipe, pop over to Lavender and Lovage for even more amazing seafood.
About the Author
- "I PREFER savoury things to sweet, although I have a weakness for Victoria Sandwich Sponge Cake!"
- "I was a vegetarian for 3 years as I HATED modern animal husbandry practices, but I just couldn't resist bacon, so I fell off the veggie wagon! But I ONLY eat meat once or twice a week now and only if I know the provenance."
- "I LOVE food styling and photography and my "prop box" is now not a box, but a small room!"
- "I have only been blogging for one year! I am loving it though and especially the contact with other food bloggers, many of whom I have met."
- "I am British, but was born in South Africa on a Royal Naval Base, so I have HMS (Her Majesty's Ship) on my birth certificate!"
|Photo Courtesy of Lavender and Lovage|
How to Make: Old-Fashioned Fish Pie with Cheesy Mash
Original recipe courtesy of Lavender and Lovage
|Add the milk to a medium sauce pan and set over medium heat to begin warming while you|
prepare the other ingredients.
|Peel and halve one medium onion|
|Then thickly slice the onion...|
|...and add onion slices to the milk. Add 2 bay leaves (I find organic bay leaves have WAY|
more flavor than the non-organic kind, so I recommend picking up organic bay leaves)
|Season the milk and onions with salt and pepper. I used about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and|
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
|Next comes the seafood. I used frozen salmon, hake and shrimp (peeled and deveined but not|
cooked). I left these in the refrigerator to defrost overnight.
|Add the hake to the pot|
|Add the salmon to the pot|
|And give everything a gentle stir to combine. Try not to break up the fish. Bring to a simmer|
and let cook for 2 minutes.
|Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes while you prepare the other|
|Bring a big stock pot of water to a rolling boil|
|While the stock-pot comes to a boil, you will have time to prepare your potatoes. You will need|
1 1/2 to 2 pound of potatoes (it really depends on how much potato mash you want)
|Wash, peel and trim the poatoes|
|Dice the potatoes - try to keep your dice relatively uniform in size so that each piece cooks|
in about the same amount of time
|The stock pot should be to the boiling point by now, so carefully add your potatoes (and|
watch out for splashes while adding!)
|Bring the potatoes back up to the boil, partially cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until a fork|
easily slides in and out of the largest potato chunks
|While the potatoes cook, you will have time a chance to prepare your other ingredients, starting|
with the cheese. Since this is a British dish, I specifically selected an aged English cheddar
|Grate the cheese|
|You will need about 4 oz of cheese (or more if you're like me)|
|Next prepare your chives. I used a pair of kitchen sheers to snip about 2 tablespoons of chives.|
I recommend adding about 1/4 cup of snipped chives for more flavor
|You can also add chopped parsley. I used flat leaf parsley because that's what I keep in my|
fridge, but Karen's original recipe calls for curly parsley
|Next comes melted butter for the potatoes. You will need 2 oz or 4 Tablespoons|
|I like to melt the butter in the microwave and it melts faster if I slice it first|
|20-30 seconds in the microwave and one arrives at melted butter...|
|Add the shrimp to the pot|
|Give everything a stir and let sit while you drain the potatoes|
|Drain the potatoes and shake off any lingering water|
|Add the potatoes to a large bowl and pour in the melted butter|
|Mash with a potato masher until smooth and fluffy|
|Season generously. I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon cracked black|
pepper. Be careful with pepper as it can overpower the cheddar cheese you're about to add
|Add 3/4 of your grated cheddar cheese|
|Stir together and set potatoes aside while you strain the milk and prepare your roux|
|Scoop out each piece of fish from the milk and place in a separate bowl|
|Strain the milk to remove the bay leaves and onion (and pieces of shrimp or fish you missed)|
|Discard the bay leaves and set seafood aside while you prepare your roux. I decided to |
include the onions with the seafood as I hate to waste anything edible...
|You should be left with about 1 1/2 cups of strained milky stock. You're ready to make roux.|
Preheat your oven to 400F
|For the roux, add 4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pot (you can use the same pot that|
you steeped your milk and fish in)
|Melt the butter over medium heat|
|Add 4 Tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour|
|Whisk the butter and flour together and continue to cook the roux until it changes from a pale|
tan color to a deep sandy color, about 8 minutes
|Keep whisking while the roux cooks to keep it from scorching|
|See how the color has darkened substantially? That's what you're looking for.|
|Slowly pour in your steeped milk while whisking continuously|
|The roux will quickly form a thick sauce. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth|
|Season with salt and pepper. I used about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon cracked|
|Add your chopped chives and parsley|
|Whisk everything together - you're now ready to assemble your fishy pie with mash|
|Add about 1/3 of your sauce to the bottom of the baking dish and spread in a thin layer|
|Layer your seafood over top of the sauce - try to keep it as even as possible|
|Next, cover the seafood with the remainder of your sauce, smoothing it evenly over the top|
|Add your mashed cheesy potatoes|
|Smooth out the potatoes in an even layer|
|Use the back of a spoon to make a fish-scale pattern over the top of the potatoes. If you want|
the pattern to the visible after baking, be sure to really make deep indentations
|Your pie should now look something like this|
|Sprinkle with the remainder of your grated cheddar and bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbling|
around the edges.
|Here's how my pie looked after baking 30 minutes. For a more browned top, place under the|
broiler for 1 minute or so, then serve.
|This was such a comforting meal and I discovered a new favorite combination of cheddar|
with hake and potatoes.
|And the good news is, there's still plenty of comfort left for another meal...|
Thoughts while scarfing...
- I had never tried hake before and now I'm a big fan. It's such a mild flavor, very meaty in texture, and it pairs wonderfully with cheddar cheese and potatoes. At least in fish pie, I would eat hake over tilapia or whiting any day. I'm definitely adding hake to my list of must-eat-more-of-this-fish list.
- I know some celebrity foodies poo-poo combining fish and cheese together - I guess they've never tried fish pie with hake and cheddar because these flavors were meant to be together. The cheddar is subtlety accented by the hake and the texture of the mashed potatoes somehow enhances the texture of the fish. Cheese with fish - delicious.
- Don't skimp on the chives. When I make this again, I plan to add more chives (at least 1/4 cup chopped). The brightness of the chives and parsley really perk up the flavor of the pie without overpowering the fish, but they're so subtle they may get lost if you skimp.
- I wasn't a huge fan of the salmon and shrimp with the hake - both were delicious, but salmon tends to overpower other flavors and really completed with the cheddar flavor. Next time I plan to try using just scallops and hake.
- You might want to leave a bit of a lip on your baking dish or place the dish on a baking sheet - once the pie heats through and begins to bubble, it may dribble over the lip of the dish and leave some memories on the bottom of your oven...