The Best Fish Pie

On 29th May 2016, This was Dinner

One of my oldest (surviving) books is an Antony Worrall Thompson book – The Top 100 Recipes from the Food & Drink TV Series.

I can’t say I’ve made loads from the book but it is where I went to for my original Yorkshire puddings and I made a stand-out bœuf bourguignon. This fish pie is well worth the effort you might have to put in. Here goes…

Get set…

  • Peel and chop some potatoes and place in a pan of salted water
  • Chop a large onion
  • Hard boil some eggs
  • Chop some parsley
  • Chop some thyme leaves
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Grate some gruyère
  • Get a salmon fillet, a smoked haddock fillet, some raw prawns, mustard powder, milk, double cream, a clove, a bay leaf, nutmeg, plain flour, butter, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Bring the potatoes to the boil and cook until tender then drain and leave to dry out for a couple of minutes. Mash well and add a little butter, double cream and some seasoning.

Pour the milk in a large pan along with some double cream and add both the fish fillets. Pop the bay leaf, clove and a pinch of nutmeg in and gently poach until the fish is tender. Remove the fish and strain the poaching liquid to use later.

Wipe out the pan and add a little oil and butter and cook the onion gently, you want it soft but not coloured. Add some plain flour and stir well for a couple of minutes.

Pour in the poaching liquid a little at a time, whisking well each time. Simmer gently for around 10 minutes until thickened.

Shell and chop the eggs and add to the sauce along with the parsley, thyme and a very good pinch of mustard powder. Flake in the fish, stir well and move from the heat and allow to cool. Now might be a good time to check the seasoning.

Add the raw prawns when cooled and transfer to an oven proof dish. Leave for 10 minutes then spread the mashed potato over the top and fork up a bit.

Sprinkle with both of the cheeses then bake for around 30 minutes.

Dish it up…

Nothing else required in my opinion. Just a fork and a big appetite.

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It fed us for 2 days but as you can see from the ingredients, it’s not the cheapest pie you will ever make, but as I said before, well worth it.

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Pizza

On 20th March 2016, This was Dinner

The weather is really getting on my nerves at the minute. I had planned to do some gardening yesterday but it was freezing and there was often a little drizzle in the air so that was out. Today was perfect whether for gardening when I got up but the urge to garden was not there. It turned cold really quickly so I’m glad I didn’t bother.

It was supposed to be pizza for Good Friday but the other option was chicken and chips and we had a version of that on Friday night.

I made my bases using a bread mix. Yep, lazy I know. My tomato base was passata mixed with Italian herbs and spices.

Prepare the bases then place them on preheated baking trays before ‘building’.

Pizza 1 – Spicy Salami, Chorizo & Cherry Tomato

Put the oven on high and halve some cherry tomatoes. Season with salt, sprinkle with chilli flakes and drizzle with olive oil. Pop in the oven then turn the heat off completely after two minutes. You can leave this for 2 – 24 hours.

Spread the passata over the base. Add the cherry tomatoes. sprinkle with grated mozzarella, add the meats (the prepacked sliced ones), scatter with a little cheddar and sprinkle with finely chopped green chilli. Sprinkle with some mixed herbs.

Takes about 10 minutes in the oven (190°c fan), depending on the thickness of your base.

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Pizza 2 – Seafood with Capers

Spread the passata over the base and sprinkle with grated mozzarella and cheddar. Add a few anchovies. Scatter over some tuna (from a tin), small prawns, and capers. Sprinkle with dried oregano.

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Serve with a beer or two.

Prawn Katsu Burgers

On 9th February 2016, This was Dinner

I don’t think I’ve missed pancake day for a few years but it completely slipped my mind this year.

Instead I made these delicious burgers which jumped of the page in BBC Good Food the moment I saw them.

We could only get our hand on finger brioche buns. I doubled up on prawns and just made mine into eight small ones.

Get set…

  • Slice some white cabbage
  • Roughly chop a few spring onions
  • Separate an egg, keeping the white
  • Bash up some cornflakes
  • Rinse and pat dry some raw prawns
  • Slice the brioche buns
  • Get cornflour, lemon, mayonnaise, ketchup sriracha, oil & seasoning ready

Throw it together…

Pulse up half of the prawns and all of the onion in a processor with a pinch of salt. Make a rough paste.

Add the cornflour and egg and pulse again.

Add the remaining prawns and pulse a couple of times only. Season.

Divide into patties and then place in the cornflake crumbs, cover all over. Cover and chill.

Mix the cabbage with a good squeeze of lemon juice and some of the mayo.

Mix more mayo with a little ketchup and some sriracha.

When ready, toast the buns. Heat a good bit of oil in a frying pan and cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes turning regularly. I checked one to make sure it was cooked through.

Dish it up…

Pop some cabbage slaw on the bottom of the bun. Cut the patties in half if using finger buns like me. Arrange on top then top with as little or as much sriracha mayo as you wish.

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Gumbo

On 4th October 2015, This was Dinner

I think gumbo is a proper comfort food with it’s deep, rich flavours. Apparently a gumbo consists of a strong flavoured stock and includes the holy trinity (wikipedia words, not mine) of celery, onion and peppers. Did you know it is also another word for okra.

Mr S says I can sometimes be away with the fairies. Well he got to do his eye-roll at the deli yesterday. I asked for 8 small chorizo sausages. I duly handed over my money for those and a few other ingredients and thought ‘Well that was expensive!’ Yeah – turns out he gave me 8 normal sized chorizo. Good job I bloody love the stuff.

Preparing:

  • Chop up a couple of chorizo sausages
  • Dice a green pepper
  • Dice a couple of celery stalks
  • Chop up an onion
  • Grate a few garlic cloves
  • Chop up a few tomatoes
  • Prepare some chicken stock
  • Slice some okra
  • Chop some parsley
  • Get cooked prawns, rice, cajun seasoning*, a bay leaf, a couple of thyme sprigs, plain flour, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat a pan and cook the chorizo until starting to release it’s oil. Remove and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pan and cook the onion, green pepper and celery until starting to soften. Add the garlic and some cajun seasoning and cook for another minute. Add the flour and stir through for a minute. Pop the tomatoes in along with the thyme and bay. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes to intensify the flavours.

Make sure there is enough stock and add the rice. Cook for 10 minutes then add the okra.

Cook, keeping an eye on the stock level until the rice is cooked through. Season well, adding the prawns for the last few minutes. Serve with the parsley.

TWD_0410_GumboI adapted a recipe called Portuguese Linguiça Gumbo from my Dirty Food book.

  • cajun seasoning – paprika, cayenne, chilli flakes, oregano, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder & black pepper.

Smoked Haddock, Prawn & Fennel Pies

On 23rd August 2015, This was Dinner

I have a fish pie recipe which is a fairly decadent business and requires a fair bit of effort and a big chunk of change. I’ve not made it since starting the blog so have stuck it on the to-do list. This one is a totally different kettle of fish (puntastic!). It’s very tasty and a (fairly) quick and easy affair. I thought a whole fennel might be a little overpowering but it wasn’t.

Preparing:

  • Peel and cut up some potatoes
  • Finely chop an onion
  • Finely slice a fennel bulb
  • Finely chop a few garlic cloves
  • Skin a small piece of smoked haddock and cut into small pieces
  • Skin a small piece of haddock and cut into small pieces
  • Drain & rinse some capers
  • Grate some parmesan
  • Chop some parsley
  • Prepare some fish stock
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc (fan)
  • Get plain flour, crème fraîche, raw prawns, milk, oil, butter & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat some oil and butter in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and fennel and cook until softened. Add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring well.

Gradually add the stock to the pan, stirring as you go. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche. Season well and add the fish, prawns, capers & parsley.

Pop it all in the dish (or dishes) you are going to cook it in and set aside.

Cook the potatoes in salted water and bring to the boil, cooking until tender. Drain and let steam for a few minutes then return to the pan and add some butter and milk and mash, seasoning to taste.

Cover the mixture with the mash and sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes.

It was great that I had yummy leftovers for lunch at work on Monday but there were some sarcastic comments on the fishy smell. That’s great, normally I take a sandwich and have to suffer the horrendous smell of various people’s lunch merging together and offending my nostrils for the rest of the day as my office is very close to the kitchen!

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Just managed to catch this fella before he got to my pie!
Just managed to catch this fella before he got to my pie!

Here’s the original recipe on the Delicious magazine website.

Sea Bass with Chorizo Risotto

On 14th August 2015, This was Dinner

Is there an official sea bass marketing board? If so I think I should be their spokesperson. Or maybe I should be head of the chorizo appreciation society, is there one of those? Maybe a could create one that covers both. This would be the lead recipe.

I saw this on an episode of Sunday Brunch and just had to make it. It most certainly didn’t disappoint.

Preparing:

  • Finely chop a couple of shallots
  • Prepare some veg stock
  • Slice some spring onions
  • Cut up some chorizo into cubes
  • Get sea bass fillets, butter, small prawns, risotto rice, turmeric*, frozen peas, lemon, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat some oil in a pan and cook the shallot until softened.

Add the rice and cook, stirring and ensure all the rice is coated in oil.

Add the (small amount) turmeric and stir well.

Add a ladle of stock and cook until absorbed. Repeat with the stock until the rice is cooked.

In a separate pan, cook the chorizo until crisp. Add to the cooked risotto along with the prawns and peas. Stir through some butter until melted.

Oil and season the fish then add some butter to a pan, I used the chorizo pan. Then cook the fish for a few minutes on the skin side and a minute on the flesh side. Squeeze the lemon over and serve on top of the risotto.

TWD_1408_Seabass_Chorizo*measure out the turmeric, I poured mine in direct from the spice jar and overdid it a little. Nothing could spoil this dish though.

Original recipe here.

Prawn, Pea & Bacon Risotto

On 3rd August 2015, This was Dinner

It’s a while since we had a risotto and knowing I had some prawns, peas and bacon in the freezer, this was the obvious.

Preparing:

  • Prepare some vegetable stock
  • Finely chop a shallot
  • Get wine, prawns, peas, streaky bacon, risotto rice, butter, oil & seasoning ready

Making:

Heat the oil in a pan and add the shallot. Cook until softened.

Add the risotto rice and stir well, ensuring it is all coated in the oil.

Add a splash of wine and cook to reduce.

Add a ladle of stock and allow to cook until all absorbs.

Repeat until the risotto is almost cooked.

Cook the bacon to your liking in a separate pan.

Add the prawns and peas to the pan with the last ladle of stock and allow to cook.

Finish by adding a little butter to the risotto and stir to melt.

Serve the bacon on top of the risotto.

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