We’re into May now and still the wet wintry weather continues. I’m going to cheer us up with a lovely smoked fish pie. A nice rich white sauce, buttery mashed potato and cheesy topping – what could be better to warm the cockles of the heart!
My hubby isn’t much of a fish lover, but he does like smoked cod and hot smoked salmon so that’s what I’m using. Otherwise, I’d be stuffing it with all sorts – smoked mackerel, kippers as well as the salmon and cod. You don’t have to use hot smoked salmon fillets, you could keep the costs down by using smoked salmon trimmings.
This is another one of those handy pies that can be put together when convenient and just heated up when you want to eat. If you do that, make sure that the white sauce and cod are cold before you mix with the salmon or other cold fish.
For two of us I’m using :
1 smoked cod fillet
2 smoked salmon fillets
½ pint of milk
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup cooked peas
1 bunch of parsley stalks
2 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed with butter.
Optional 1 or 2oz of grated cheese to top the mashed potato.
Firstly, place the cod fillet into an ovenproof dish, add the bayleaf, parsley stalks and peppercorns and poach for 20 minutes in a hot oven. Remove the fish and drain and reserve the milk, throwing out the herbs and peppercorns.
Make a white sauce by melting the butter and stirring in the flour to make a roux, gradually add the milk little by little, beating well after each addition to make a smooth sauce. Simmer quietly, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened and the flour cooked off. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the parsley.
Flake the cod and cut the salmon fillets into chunks and add to the dish you will be cooking the pie in, add the capers and cooked peas and finally the white sauce. Stir gently to combine without breaking up the cod.
Top the pie with the mashed potato, adding a final grating of good cheese if you wish.
From hot the pie will only need 20 minutes at 200oC(400oF/Gas mark 6). From cold the cooking time will depend on the type of dish you are using but it will need 30 to 40 minutes at the same oven temperature.