Friday, July 31, 2009

Fish Pie

1 cod fillet – about 300g
1 smoked haddock fillet (preferably undyed) – about 200g
250cc milk
500g spinach thoroughly cleaned
150g good strong cheddar cheese, grated
1kg potatoes (preferably Maris Piper)
25g butter
20g corn flour
250ml milk
Some chopped flat leaf parsley
salt freshly ground pepper

Extra milk and butter for the mash

Depending on how long your oven takes to reach 200c turn it on at sometime during the proceedings so it's ready to put the pie in when it's assembled.
First prepare the seperate bits:

Scrub the spuds then cut them into 5cm chunks with peeling them. Boil in lightly salted water for about 15 mins til soft. Leave them til they're cool enough to handle and then peel the skin off with your fingers. Mash or put through a ricer with a knob of butter and a splash of milk.
Cut both bits of fish in to 4. While the spuds are cooking gently poach the fish in the milk either over a low light on the hob or ping it in the microwave. Either way it should only take 5 mins or so and should be slightly under cooked.
Steam the spinnach for about 7 or 8 minutes then squeeze it dry and chop it up finely.
Melt the 25g of butter over a low heat in a non enamel saucepan add the corn flour and stir with a wooden spoon getting rid of any lumps, cook gently for a minute or 2 then pour in the milk from the fish stirring constantly. Keep stirring it and watch til it thickens then turn the heat right down and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Keep stirring or it'll burn. It should be the consistency of thin cream – add some more milk if it looks too thick. Take off the heat and stir in the parsley and the cheese saving a bit to go on top later. Taste it and add some salt if it needs it (it might not because of the fish and the cheese) and planty of freshly ground pepper.
You've got all the bits now you need to assemble the pie:
In a buttered oven proof dish put the spinnach in a layer on the bottom. Arrange the pieces of fish on top (you can add prawns or cooked shell fish of your choice if you want at this stage). Pour the cheese sauce over the top. Spoon the mashed spuds over the top of that and even it out and makes pretty patterns with a fork, Sprinkle some of the grtated cheese over the top. Put it in the oven for 25 to 35 mins til it's brown. The sauce can bubble over so it's a good idea to put a tray underneath to catch and drips and save then burning on to your oven.


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