This recipe takes a bit of coordination but it’s very easy. Prepare all the elements and then put it all together. The sink may fill with dishes in the process but the saving grace is that once the pie is constructed you can wash all the pans and there will be little to do after dinner!
[Please send me your tips, memories and heritage recipes too.]
INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6) – (I’ve included some variations at the bottom of the page.)
- SEAFOOD (all skinless, choose what’s best value at the monger, chop each into cubes)
1 salmon or ocean trout fillet
1 fillet of smoked cod or haddock
3 medium fillets firm white fish (I’ve used Basa)
Can also include a handful of peeled prawns, scallops, calamari
- MIX INS
1 onion, chopped
2 eggs, boiled
fresh corn, cut off the cob
Can also use celery, leek, runner beans (I like veggies that add a bit of crunch)
- WHITE SAUCE
1/3 cup plain flour
500ml milk, with some extra if needed
salt & pepper to taste
- POTATO TOPPING
5 medium potatoes, washed, chopped into quarters & boiled
knob of butter
dash of milk
salt & pepper to taste
- Put the potatoes and eggs on to boil, in separate pans, until cooked. Drain. Peel eggs, cut into quarters lengthways and put aside.
- In a large skillet or frying pan, saute onion in a splash of olive oil. When silky, mix in the chopped seafood,and cook for only a minute.
- Prepare your veggies – cut corn off cob, wash and chop celery, douse frozen peas with hot water in a bowl & drain – put all aside.
- Turn on your oven to 180 degrees.
- Make your white sauce by melting butter in a small saucepan, add flour and stir to combine, allowing to cook a little. Add milk or stock little by little, stirring all the time with a small whisk to knock out any bumps and until the sauce is smooth (it will keep thickening until it starts to bubble). Add salt & pepper to taste. Let sauce bubble for about a minute and then take off heat. The sauce should thickly coat the back of a spoon but be pourable.
- Either mash potatoes in the pan with butter, milk, parsley, salt & pepper OR whizz til chunky or smooth mash (your preference) in your food processor.
- Now you are ready to assemble the pie!
Mix the veggies and sauce into the seafood mix and then pour into a baking dish (I’ve used a 11×8 inch oblong Ikea dish), place in your egg quarters and then spread the mashed potato on top. Either fork or use your spatula to create wavelets across the potato surface – these will catch heat and brown nicely in the oven.
- Place in oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes. (if the top hasn’t browned – pop it under a hot grill just for a minute.)
- Serve with a crispy green salad or your favourite steamed green veggies.
LOWER CALORIES: use no fat or low fat milk, a butter substitute such as Nuttelex or sunflower oil or don’t use any sauce at all! Use stock instead of milk in sauce (it won’t be as white but it’s ok for the lactose intolerant.)
SAUCE: add in a tsp of curry powder or dijon mustard for added flavour.
SEAFOOD: use a marinara mix, but if its frozen make sure your sauce is thick, as water from the fish will dilute it somewhat when cooking and you’ll end up with soggy pie. Same goes if you are using any frozen fish and veg straight into the mix.
TOPPING: Use puff pastry instead.
INDIVIDUAL ONES: make small ones in ramekins or little pie dishes. Kids love these and they’re also handy to put in the freezer for when you are home alone or stuck for a kids dinner when you are leaving to go out.