Sunday, 31 October 2010

Smoked Fish Pie

Dear me, I haven't been cooking lately, have I? I didn't even make this; my mom did. It's Akiwenzies' Smoked Fish Pie from "Good Food For All" by Joshna Maharaj of The Stop. My excuse is that I had no kitchen sink (well, okay, the sink was there but the taps were gone) for much of last week. The good news was I finally figured out where the bad smell in the kitchen was coming from. The bad news was that I stuck my head under the sink to look for something, and oh, dear. Anyway. I now have a nice, new and hopefully much sturdier, leak-free kitchen tap thanks to Mr. Ferdzy's strenuous efforts.

Mom made this pretty much by the recipe, although I suspect she might have cut down the butter a bit; that's what I tend to do and I got that trick from her originally, soooo....! Mind you, she certainly left in enough for this to be very rich and delicious.

Make 4 to 6 servings
1 hour 15 minutes - 45 minutes prep time

1 kg (2 pounds) potatoes
1/2 cup unsalted butter
salt & pepper
4 large eggs
1 kg (2 pounds) smoked fish
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup soft unbleached flour
3 cups milk
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Wash and trim the potatoes, and cut them in chunks. Put them in a pot with water to cover and boil for about 10 minutes, until tender.

Drain the potatoes and rinse in cold water. Cool enough to handle, then peel the potatoes. (Or don't. If I had been making this, I wouldn't have bothered.) At any rate, then mash the potatoes with the first quantity of butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Again, if I had been making this I would have used about half the butter and a bit of buttermilk. )

Put the eggs in a pot of water and bring them to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and leave them covered for 10 minutes. Cool the eggs in cold water, then peel them and cut them into chunks.

In 9" x 13" baking pan or other large casserole dish, arrange the egg pieces and the fish, broken into bite-sized flakes. Sprinkle the parsley over them. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the butter and flour into a saucepan, and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly mix in the milk, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes more, until the mixture thickens. Season with salt, pepper and a little scrape of nutmeg. Pour the sauce evenly over the eggs and fish in the casserole.

Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the fish and sauce. Rough up the surface a little with a fork, and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown. Serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Braised White Beans & Root Vegetables.

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