How to make fish pie – recipe | Felicity Cloake’s masterclass

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An honorary pie, despite obvious shortcomings in the pastry department, fish pie is the culinary equivalent of a cosy pair of slippers. It can be as basic or as fancy as you like, but it should never be anything other than home cooking. Easy to make ahead, happy to be customised according to what you have available, and perfect with frozen peas, it’s also just what you need right now.

Prep 55 minCook 45 minServes 4

1kg floury potatoes (see step 2)100g butter1 splash milk500ml fish stock100ml white wine1 small bunch parsley or tarragon350g white or oily fish (pollack, trout, etc)350g smoked fish (haddock, cod, etc)200g small peeled prawns, defrosted if necessary50g plain or cornflour2 anchovies, finely chopped (optional)200ml double cream2 hard-boiled eggs (boiled for 8 minutes), peeled (optional)1 handful white breadcrumbs (optional)

1 Choose your fish

A word about the fish. It’s hard to keep on top of what’s sustainable, especially internationally (if you’re unsure, check the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide), so take the quantities listed above as a guide.

I like a combination of white and smoked fish with sweet little prawns, but you may prefer to replace one of them with an oily fish such as salmon, trout or mackerel, or other seafood such as mussels, crabmeat or squid.

2 Choose the potatoes

Peel the potatoes – a floury variety is best here, because you want it to be a fluffy contrast to the richness beneath.

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