Fish pie

Just as i finished my architectural diploma and joined a practice called BPR, I discovered the world of fish pies.

It was in the beginning of September when we were getting ready for the traditional BD Isle of Wight sailing event,

when we arrived at a very old pub in the middle of Cowes, the sailors’ harbour. The menu was delicious sounding but my curious nature made me choose an interesting sounding dish.

It was delicious and I am certain that most fattening fish pie and most importantly, I never forgot it. It was the perfect lunch to a perfectly windy day for sailing.

Over the years I have developed my own recipe, which sometimes includes spinach as the lack of vegetables in this kind of dishes always makes me feel guilty.

Cooking time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes baking
Quantity: This mix serves four people as main dish

White sauce:
4 spoons of olive oil
1 medium sized onion chopped finely.
3 table spoon of plain flour
500 ml of milk at room temperature.
Nutmeg

Fish mix:
3 garlic cloves sliced
3 table spoons of olive oil
200 gr of salmon
150 gr of smoked salmon ( if you dont like smoked salmon, use fresh one, or a different line caught fish)
250 gr prawns
3 hard boiled eggs 8 minutes) cut in 1 cm cube pieces roughtly ( smaller you would not apreciate the texture)
3 table spoons of chopped flat parsley
Salt

Topping
1 kg of king Edward potatoes
3 table spoons of olive oil
200 gr of double cream
Salt
3 handfulls of spinach
Tempura breadcrumbs to taste

Salt

Cut the fish in similar sizes (2 cm cubes) and put half in a pan with the milk.

Cut the potatoes in 3 cm cubes and boild them until they are ready to be mashed. This will take between 15 and 20 minutes. Make sure they dont overcook as the potatoes could take too much water and change texture. When ready, rinse them and put them aside.

In a large frying pan place the chopped onion and olive oil and let it cook until golden. Add the flour and mix with the fried onion coating the flour and roasting it through. At this stage, I often need to add a further spoon of olive oil as otherwise the mix is too dry.

When the mix has formed a light paste, put the fish in a clean dish aside of the milk and incorporate the milk slowly to the flour mix. You might find a whisk to be helpful in disolving the flour. Continue to build the mix up. If you get stuck, don’t pannic, there is always the blender. Cook for further 10 minutes and add the nutmeg to taste. Add the egg and continue cooking for further 5 minutes.

Whilst you wait, fry the garlic on olive oil in low heat. When the garlic becomes golden add the prawns and fish and seal them off. Add salt to taste. And finally mix the parsley in.

Preheat the oven at 190 degree Celsius, gas mark 5.

In a pan on low heat mash the potatoes and mix with the olive oil and cream. Add salt to taste. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the spinach leafs and Mix . Cook for a further couple of minutes.

In an ovenproof A4 size dish lay the fish and seafood, followed by the white sauce and the mash potato .

Top it all up with tempura breadcrumbs to taste.

Place it in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

Photograph by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Recipe by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate

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