Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fish pie

Oh, I made the most divine one last night. I love fish pie, and wonder why I don't think to make it more often.

If you're not familiar with this dish, it's quite quick and simple to make, and a great way to use up leftover fish from the night before. (If you don't have any leftover fish, just 'nuke' or steam some fresh fish.) It's not really a pie per se, but a potato and fish mixture in a thickened white sauce, with a buttery-breadcrumb topping, broiled to brown it up.

To make it, per serving:

Dice up a small potato into 1/2 to 3/4" pieces, peeled or unpeeled. (If you are like my daughter and don't like peels in food, by all means, peel them. I never peel for mashed potatoes, either, and years back, this would infuriate Darling Daughter so much that she would actually peel them for me. Great way to get some work out of a teenager, by the way -- pretend that you think peels in the mash are the best thing since sliced bread, and they will peel them for you every time, possibly even thinking they're annoying you by forcing you to live without peelings in your spuds, but really helping out without the tiniest nag from you).

Anyway . . . place the potatoes in a covered saucepan in just enough milk (I use soya) to cover them, and bring to a boil, letting the milk reduce (add a little more milk if necessary, though, so nothing scorches). When potatoes are tender, give them a quick coarse mashing by hand, leaving lots of chunks but crushing some as well.

Next, add your bite-sized cooked fish chunks to the pot -- I use about a cup of chunks per serving. I prefer haddock, salmon and prawns, for variety in colour, texture, and taste, but you can use any kinds. Add a bit of butter (or any vegan spread -- I use sunflower) and simmer it until hot.

At this point, add cornstarch and water to thicken it up (2 tsps of cornstarch dissolved in a couple tbsps of water will thicken 1/2 cup of milk, so figure out what you have and do the math). Stir until thick and hot (just a minute or two), then spoon mixture into either one large tureen, or individual ramekins.

Top with very coarse GF breadcrumbs which have been tossed in a bit of melted butter (or spread), sprinkle the top with salt and pepper, and place under broiler until breadcrumbs are browned. Serve piping hot.

Nice any old time of year.

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