Paulie took out some smoked cod instead of plain cod which was bonus for me, only one thing for dinner, the best fish pie ever! It had been such a cold day with every type of weather possible, we had snow, sleet, rain, sunshine, it looked like all the seasons in one out of the french doors. However I must admit I was happy about the snow. So on these cold blustery days what is better than a comforting fish pie, This recipe would definitely be on my deathrow menu though I must say that is starting to get larger and larger all the time. Paulie has made this with smoked haddock and cod, he has also tried prawns and 3 different fishes and we both agree that this combination is our favourite. We always find reduced smoked fish on the fish counter in our supermarket so it actually works out at a reasonable cost as the sauce is stock cupboard ingredients. By changing the topping to rosti, using the smaller queenie scallops (as they are the perfect size for a mouthful) and adding some capers, it takes this number from a good fish pie to an outstanding one.
- 500 g Smoked cod or haddock
- 10 fresh queen scallops
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 300ml fish stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 50 g butter
- 50 g plain flour
- 6 cornichons, , drained, rinsed and chopped
- Tblsp Capers
- Splash milk
- 1 pinches black pepper
For the rosti caper topping
- tbsp salted capers, or capers in brine, drained, rinsed and dried
- 900 g red potatoes,
- 50 g butter, melted
- 50 g strong cheddar cheese
1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/gas 7. You will need a baking dish about 5cm deep of 1.5 litre capacity.
2.First of all, prepare the potatoes by scrubbing them, but leaving the skins on. As they all have to cook at the same time, if there are any larger ones cut them in half. Then place them in a saucepan with enough boiling water to barely cover them, once they start boiling again cook them for 12 minutes, covered with the lid. Strain off the water and cover them with a clean tea cloth or kitchen paper to absorb the steam.
3. Next, heat the wine and fish stock in a medium saucepan, add the bay leaves and some seasoning, then cut the fish in half if it’s a large piece, add it to the saucepan and poach the fish gently for 5 minutes. It should be slightly undercooked.
4. Then remove the fish to a plate, using a draining spoon, and strain the liquid through a sieve into a bowl.
5. Now rinse the pan you cooked the fish in, melt the butter in it, whisk in the flour and a splash of milk, gently cook for 2 minutes. Then gradually add the strained fish stock little by little, whisking all the time. When you have a smooth sauce, turn the heat to its lowest setting and let the sauce gently cook for 5 minutes. Then, whisk in the capers and cornichons. Give it all a good seasoning and remove it from the heat.
6. To make the rosti topping, peel the potatoes and, using the coarse side of a grater, grate them into long shreds into a bowl. Then add the capers and the melted butter and, using two forks, lightly toss everything together so that the potatoes get a good coating of butter.
7. Now remove the skin from the white fish and divide it into chunks, quite large if possible, and combine the fish with the sauce. Next, if you’re going to cook the fish pie more or less immediately, all you do is add the raw scallops to the fish mixture then spoon it into a baking dish. Sprinkle the rosti on top, spreading it out as evenly as possible and not pressing it down too firmly. Then, finally scatter the cheese over the surface and bake on a high shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes.