Saturday, May 20, 2006

Pie eyed

One winter I was lamenting (quietly to myself, as you do) about the lack of fish pie options now I am milk free. I have made white sauce before with soy, but it comes out too sweet and it’s a poor alternative. One day in Gourmet Traveller I came across a non-saucy pie, in a yeasted crust, made from fish and leeks. With a bit of tweaking it became my favourite dish for a cold night.

The original recipe, other than being in pastry rather than topped with mash, included raisins. Throw in a handful if you like the sweet-savoury combo, personally I don’t. In some renditions of the pie I have added in more vegetables, forgotten the parsley, substituted the lemon peel with fine slivers of kaffir lime leaves. Use your imagination. The original quantities adequately fill my largest, oval pie dish but for 2 it’s easy to halve or quarter the ingredients and serve in ramekins (or your favourite single serve vessel).

Comfort food fish pie

Basic quantities – for 4 hungry people as a stand alone dish, 6 with a salad or 8 as part of a multi-course meal (or can feed an unlimited amount of supermodels).

Olive oil for sautéing
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
600g leeks, washed trimmed and sliced
75g green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
45 g of small capers (the ones in salt where you soak for an hour, then drain)
1 tablespoon lemon peel, finely chopped or grated
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
600g blue eye (or similar) fillets, in approx. 8mm slices (or whatever takes your fancy)

Mashed potato (more on mash)

Get the potatoes on for the mash.

Cook fish in olive oil. Do this in batches so you don’t crowd the pan. Just 1 minute a side (to seal rather than cook through). Put aside. Now do the same with the leeks. Cook til soft and add in the lemon peel, caper, olives and parsley. Give it a quick toss then set aside.

Make the mash.

Combine the fish and leek mixture in the pie dish. Top with generous amounts of mash.

Bake in a hot oven. About 200c for about 20-30 minutes, til the mash is golden on top.

In this version I used flathead. The chunks tend to be not as thick as blue eye but I love the taste (and an excuse to get the fillets and replenish the freezer with some stock). I had no parsley and wanted more vegetables so added in some zucchini. The new oven didn’t seem that hot, so it took about 45 minutes. In a second batch, I cooked at about 205 for 20 minutes and placed under a hot grill for about 7.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy free (depending on how you make the mash) and very tasty. It won't, however, please the carb-phobes.

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Blogger Brownie said...

Looks delicious.

Culinary Pporn - I just like to read the recipes.

10:08 pm  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I've been following your blog for quite a while and enjoying your wealth of good recipes. When Foodista announced that they are going to publish the best food blogs in a full color book that will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing Fall 2010, I naturally thought of you. This recipe would be a good submission! You can enter here:

Editor and Community Developer -- The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit

11:36 am  

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