Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipe - Posh Fish Pie

This is one of the recipes that I made for my husband's weekend birthday feast and boy did I make it ever so posh! From fresh salmon to fresh tuna. Even buying 100% fresh crab meat and tiger pawns.

I can't take all of the credit for this one though! This recipe first was brought to my attention by one of my beloved chefs which I think is some where around my age roughly, perhaps that is why I adore him so much but some how I think it's the way he cooks and the way be brings the best things to us as simple as possible while still being healthy... that is none other then Jamie Oliver!

I have his series 'naked chef' on DVD and that is where I first got the idea for this recipe. That one how ever had a cream based sauce. I had made the version he did in that series a long while ago but sub'd the cream for my alpro soya 5%. It was indeed a very good 'first attempt' so was something to make again.

This time though, instead of going through to figure out which part on which DVD had the recipe, watch the recipe, copy the recipe and what not, I simply looked online for the recipe. I came across something from his Ministry of Food series that made the dish 100% healthier as it didn't call for cream at all. I've linked the video here but have also made my recipe with all my wonderful photo below it.

If you like healthy, you want something full of wonderful fish, something wonderfully sinful but still good... this is certainly something to try out. And how much better can you get for a gluten free diet then something that one makes it's own sauce and two uses home-made mashed potatoes to top it all off?!

Ingredients - Main Dish
 2 celery stalks 
 2 carrots 
 150grams (5oz) yellow cheddar
 ♥ 150grams (5oz) white cheddar
 1 small tomato or a large handful of cherry tomatoes, cut into small chunks
 2 to 4 cups fresh baby spinach 
 300grams (10oz) white fish such as cod cut into small chunks
 300grams (10oz) sturdy fish such as salmon or tuna cut into small chunks
 4 to 8 large raw tiger prawns, deveined and shelled
 150grams (5oz) fresh crab meat (canned works too but will add unneeded salt)
 ♥ juice of 1 lemon
Ingredients - Mashed Potatoes 
 ♥ 4 to 6 large russet potatoes, cut into small chunks
 2 or 3 good size nobs of butter
 splash of a good virgin olive oil
 salt/pepper to taste

This dish despite all of the ingredients is really easy to make since it only really requires you to 'cut' 2 items... potatoes and some tomato. The rest should be done already for you by your fish monger.

I would first start out by getting your potatoes onto boil. Always start your potatoes in cold water. You want them to cook evenly and tossing them into hot water right at the beginning causes the outside to cook faster while leaving the inside under cooked in the end. I suggest either boiling them in salted water or to do as I do and add some chicken broth cube/s to the boiling water. Let this boil away until the potatoes are tender and you go about putting together the main dish.

The main dish should be pretty straight forward. Grab you trusted shredding unit be it a food processor with a large grate attachment, a hand shredder or my personal favourite, a box shredder. Shred the carrots, celery and both cheeses all right together and place into a 13x9 baking pan (I used my large lasagna pan for this and it worked perfectly). If you want extra cheese to put on top of the final product before baking, this is the time to make sure it is shredded, just remember to reserve it for later and not accidentally add it to the pan.

Cut up you choice of tomato. Small chunks if your using a whole tomato or cut in half to quarters if using cherry tomatoes. Use your judgement on this, you simply do not want huge chunks of tomatoes. You want them to meld into the dish, not over power it. Toss them into the same pan with the shredded veggies and cheese.

Add the spinach to the same pan. It will look like a lot but once you start to toss the final product before baking the spinach will break down a bit just by the process and also by the weight of the fish.

Toss in all of the wonderful seafood. Making it this time for me meant it was to be sinful and price was of no worry for it so I indulged in expensive fishes such as tuna but this dish does NOT have to be expensive as it will be just as good with only using one type of fish such as just cod or salmon. This was meant to be a special birthday celebration dish this time so it also called for the more plush fishes.

Reminder at this point to not forget about your boiling away potatoes, yes you want them soft but you don't want them water logged either. Check them and see if they are ready to be mashed. When they are simply drain and set aside for a moment.

Pre-heat your oven to 200c (400f). Pour the lemon juice over the mixture in your baking dish. Now take all of those wonderful ingredients that and give them a good old mixing up with your hands (remember my beloved item in my kitchen, a box of powder free vinyl gloves... this is yet another place to use them to make your life easier).

Mashed Potatoes - If you don't have a potato masher (see photo or Jamie's video above) then a fork will do, you'll just need to put a bit more effort into it. Give your boiled potatoes a good mashing up. Add the couple nobs of butter and the splash of olive oil and keep mashing until smooth. Taste and see about adding salt and pepper. You don't want it over powering but poorly seasoned mashed potatoes are awful. Also please do NOT short-cut this part. Use HOME-MADE mashed potatoes and do NOT use 'instant' mashed. You know the crap I'm talking about.. the 'powder' form. I have tried both now and I can tell you from those experiences that the instant stuff does NOT work! It does not brown nicely, it doesn't help steam the dish properly and just over all does not leave this dish nearly as good as if you were to make your own!

With the mashed potatoes made, dump them on top of the mixed up fish and veggies in your baking dish. Use a fork or spoon and spread them out over every part possible. You want to create a bit of a seal over the dish so that the potatoes act as a steaming agent. Drizzle the top with some olive oil and this is also the point that if you are choosing to use extra shredded cheese that you want to sprinkle it over the entire top.

Put the entire dish in your pre-heated oven and bake about 40minutes. It will be dark golden brown if you used cheese on top or a nice 'peaked' golden brown if you didn't (browning the highest parts of the mashed potatoes). Inside the spinach will have cooked down, the flavours of the fish will have melded and your dish will be simply prefect.

Hubby loved this dish and we had enough for two meals with it while still indulging in a good amount each meal but we also had extra veggies on the side. ENJOY!

October 4th, 2013 - Post updated because for some reason the original youtube video I had posted was no longer posted. I now have one posted from Jamie Oliver's official YouTube site.

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