Seafood Pie with Cheesy Mash

Serves 6–8

  • 350g (12oz) haddock, skin on and pin bones removed
  • 350g (12oz) natural smoked cod, skin on and pin bones removed
  • 350g (12oz) salmon fillets, skin on and pin bones removed
  • 900ml (1 ½ pints) milk
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1.2kg (2lb 10oz) potatoes
  • 150g (5oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50g (2oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g (8oz) leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 75g (3oz) plain flour
  • 150ml (¼ pint) dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 200g (7oz) baby spinach
  • 150g (5oz) cooked peeled prawns
  • 2 heaped tbsp toasted breadcrumbs
  • sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • buttered peas, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6). Butter a 2.4 litre (4 pint) ovenproof dish that’s about 5cm (2in) deep. Remove any stray pin bones from the haddock, smoked cod and salmon and season generously, then place in a shallow pan with the milk and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and poach for 6–8 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a knife. Remove the fish from the pan and take off any remaining skin. Flake the flesh into large chunks, checking for bones that might have been overlooked. Strain the leftover milk into a jug until you have 600ml (1 pint) for the sauce. Discard the bay leaf.

Peel the potatoes and cut into even-sized pieces and then place in a large pan of salted water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and return to the pan to dry out a little. Mash well and beat in the Cheddar and half of the butter. Season well. Melt the remaining butter in a small pan and gently cook the leeks and onion for about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Pour in the white wine and reduce by half. Gradually pour in the reserved 600ml (1 pint) of poaching milk and simmer for 6–8 minutes, until you have a smooth, thick sauce, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat, then add the crème fraîche and parsley and remove from the heat. Blanch the spinach in a pan of boiling water, then drain and run under cold water before squeezing it really dry.

Scatter the chunks of fish into the bottom of the buttered ovenproof dish and arrange the prawns on top with small mounds of the spinach. Cover with the sauce and then with a layer of the cheesy mash, spreading it with a palette knife. Rough up the top with a fork and then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 25–30 minutes, until the top is bubbling and golden brown. To serve, divide the seafood pie with the cheesy mash among warmed serving plates and add some buttered peas to each one.


Herb and nut crusted cod fillets with lemon chive sauce

This is a very versatile crust that you could use on monkfish, salmon or any firm white fish fillet for that matter! I always buy cod with the skin on, as it helps the fish to keep together while it’s cooking. Always make sure your cod is from a sustainable source.

SERVES 6

  • 150g (5oz) wholemeal bread
  • 50g (2oz) shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp snipped chives finely grated rind of
  • 1 orange pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 75g (3oz) butter
  • 6 x 175g (6oz) cod fillets, skin on with pin-bones removed
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten steamed new potatoes, to serve
  • steamed sugar snap peas, to serve

FOR THE LEMON CHIVE SAUCE:

  • ½ small onion, diced
  • finely grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) dry white wine
  • 150ml (¼ pint) cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 50g (2oz) butter, diced
  • 1 tsp snipped fresh chives
  1. sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6). Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.

2 Whizz the bread in a food processor to make crumbs. Mix in a bowl with the walnuts, herbs, orange rind and nutmeg. Heat the butter in a saucepan until just melted, then stir into the breadcrumb mixture. Mix well and allow to cool.

3 Place the cod on the lined baking sheet, skin side down, and rub the flesh with salt and pepper. Brush the top of the cod with the beaten egg yolk, then press the crumbs on top to stick. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until the fish is firm and the crumbs are crisp.

4 Meanwhile, to make the lemon chive sauce, place the onion, lemon rind and wine in a medium pan and reduce by half. Whisk in the cream and bring slowly to the boil, then reduce the liquid again by half and whisk in the lemon juice, mustard and butter. Season to taste and stir in the chives just before serving.

5 Serve the cod fillets on warmed plates with a spoonful of the lemon chive sauce and arrange some new potatoes and sugar snap peas to the side.