Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Ad hoc fish pie

There was created for a friend who has some difficulties with certain foods so cannot eat them.  Normally I would have added other ingredients too but I'm always up for a challenge!
It's an idea-type recipe and amounts were not measured except by eye!  Flexible is the name of the game here.

butter - use as little as you can for each stage.
half an onion, chopped
a salmon fillet - from a bug of frozen fillets from Aldi
a white fish fillet - I used basa which is reasonably priced and not too large and liiked good on the fresh fish counter in Morrisons
some frozen peas
some sweet corn (out of a small can and I served the rest as a side veg)
milk (I forgot to get cream but milk worked fine anyway so no problems)
half a carton of Savers soft cheese
some thickening granules
a pinch of dried herbs
some salt and pepper

potatoes suitable for mashing -  I used Estima from my bag of wonky potatoes  and they mashed beautifully

Heat the oven to 180C
Peel and cut the potatoes into smallish chunks and put them on the hob to boil in salted water.
Cut the fish into bite sized chunks.

In a pan, melt a bit of the butter and saute the onions until they are soft and translucent.  Remove from the pan.  If necessary, add a little more butter, add the fish and gently fry until just cooked.  It might take two stages.
Remove the fish.

Add the peas and corn and some milk.  Pop in some salt, pepper and a pinch of dried herbs and bring to a simmer.  Add the soft cheese and stir as it melts into the milk to make a thicker sauce.  Then, depending on how thick it gets and how thick you want it, add some thickening granules and stir them in.  Taste and re-season, if needed.

Carefully replace the fish and the onion in the sauce and gently stir it in.  Spoon the sauce into a high sided oven-proof dish.  I used a slatted spoon in case there was too much sauce, but it was about right.  You could reserve any spare sauce for pouring over your veg.

Drain and steam dry the cooked potatoes, then mash really well with some added butter.  You could also add some more soft cheese, which I would have done had I thought of it but I didn't so I didn't!  Taste and re-season, if necessary.

Spoon the mash over the fish mixture and smooth it over, using a fork to ruffle up the top as you wish.  Pop it in the oven, on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake for about 30 mins until the top is browned.  Serve with side veg (I had corn and broccoli).

I wish I'd taken a photo - it looked delicious and tasted great.

I could have added some broccoli instead of having it on the side.  I could have made a different mash for the top, maybe sweet potato or a mixture of root vegetables, or perhaps a savoury crumble topping.  Different fish would give different flavours and one could add some prawns.  There's lots of variations.


  1. Aren't all fish pies a bit ad hoc, sounds good to me

  2. You could be very right there, I guess they are. I think I meant I didn't start with a recipe of any kind! :-)
    J x

  3. Years of experience substitute for recipes