Wednesday, 31 March 2010

the anatomy of a fisherman's pie

There's more to the pie than meets the eye!

I love seafood and I love savoury pies; put the two together and I'm a happy diner. It's such a nice hearty, comforting meal and is perfect with a good Chardonnay on a good night in.

The thing about seafood pie though, is that you have to be careful not to overcook the ingredients. You have to get the timing right so that the fish is still flaky and the others (ie prawns, squid, mussells) aren't too tough or too chewy, and also, so that the white sauce won't be too runny.
I was craving for some the other day so we decided to brave it and make our own. Here's how we made ours:

What you'll need:
  • 300g super boiled potatoes, cubed and just about ready for mash
  • 100g cod fillets
  • 100g salmon fillets
  • 50g haddock fillets
  • 250g selection of cooked seafood (ie prawns, squid, mussells)
  • white sauce made with 1 packet of cheese and parsley mix and about a pint of milk (we used skim)
  • puff pastry (we used the frozen one)
  • 1/4 cup of asparagus, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1/4 cup of frozen peas, defrosted
  • butter
  • tarragon
  • salt & pepper
What you have to do:
  1. Preheat the ovet to 190°C.
  2. Cook your fish in the oven for about 10 minutes until it starts to flake. When your fish is done, let it cool for a bit and make sure there aren't any stray bones and remove any skin.
  3. In a deep ovenproof dish, mix the fish with the other cooked seafood, boiled potatoes, asparagus, peas, tarragon and white sauce, adding salt and pepper to your taste. You can add a bit of mild cheddar cheese if you really like yours cheesy.
  4. Cover the mixture with puff pastry and by all means, go all out on the design. We've gone all fishy with ours:

    When you're done decorating, glaze your pastry with a bit of butter.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes, until the pastry is golden crispy.

As we didn't make our own white sauce, it was really easy to make the pie. Considering it was a first attempt I thought it fared well. I thought we might've used a tad too much milk but everything was *whew* cooked just about right and the dish was actually creamy, not runny. The mixed seafood selection were still edible and easy to swallow and the fish wasn't overcooked at all. Overall, A+ for effort and maybe a B+ on the pie itself.

Will definitely try to make this seafood pie again in an attempt to perfect the recipe for generations of dinners to come.

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