600g potatoes or up to 800g for 4
60 butter or margarine
600 – 800g Fish filets of haddock, cod and salmon
200g cooked prawns
300ml semi skimmed milk
Salt and pepper
Bunch of fresh parsley
Prep to Cook: Chopping board, sharp knife, boiling pan, masher, sauce making pan, jug, wooden spoon. Rectangular (oven-proof) cooking dish with deep sides. Oven on 180 C Gas Mark 5
Prep: 1. Prep potato layer:
Peel and cut potatoes into thirds or quarters.
Cover with water and bring to boil
Cook for 15 minutes until soft – drain
Alternately put the raw potato in a deep jug or bowl with 150ml water in the microwave, cover and cook on high for 10 mins, allow to stand for 2 mins and finish cooking with a further 2 mins microwave. Test to see if the potato is cooked. Take care when first lifting lid because of the steam that will be released.
Roughly mash (no need to make it too smooth) Leave on one side.
2. Prepare the sauce:
Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the flour
(If you do it in a microwave rather than on the hob use a deep 1 litre ovenproof jug)
Add the milk bit by bit and stir thoroughly.
Bring the sauce to the boil stirring all the time
Rinse the parsley and discard the stalks.
Chop the parsley leaves very finely and add to the hot sauce.
Season the sauce with black pepper and salt and stir.
Cover with cling and leave on one side.
3. Prep the fish:
Cut the fish into chunks about 2 cm by 5 cm.
Feel the fish with your hands to check for bones and remove them if you should find any
If the fish has a skin – remove it carefully using sharp knife.
Hold the tail of the fish using salt on your fingers to give a ‘good grip.’ Angle the sharp knife 45degrees and cut away from yourself, from tail end of the fish piece to thick end. Keep hold of the skin as you ‘saw’ the flesh of it and then throw the skin away
Place the fish pieces into a buttered dish and add the prawns
4. Prep to cook:
Pour the sauce over the fish.
Carefully spoon the potato over the top and dot the surface with butter or margarine.
Fridge this if you want it later or otherwise put into a hot oven 180C or Gas 4
Cook for 20 minutes until the top has golden crispy bits of potato.
Alternately cook in the microwave for 12 -15 minutes medium power and grill to brown potato
Serve piping hot
Mixed fish and potato pie is true comfort food yet light, tasty and healthy. You can make it ahead and freeze it. Cook from frozen at the same temperature but for twice as long. Use any white fish without bones for this recipe such as cod, hake, haddock or coley (looks a bit grey but gets whiter when cooked). White fish has no fat, oily fish has fish oils in the flesh. Fish oils supply vitamin A and vitamin D and are good for health.
Cooks Know How: You will have handled fish which you probably dreaded. You will see the need to check for bones and may even have a go at removing fish skin. You will notice how expensive fish can be but where you can make economies by using spare cuts and mixing them. You will know that prawns can be added for great flavour. You will improve your sauce making skill and be able to check the seasoning levels easily as you make the sauce. You will understand how potatoes can take quite a time to prepare whilst developing your peeling skills and knowing when potato is fully cooked. Fish cooks more quickly than meat. The fish muscle easily becomes tender and you can see the flakes fall apart. Fish has no gristle and white fish is fat-free.
Try a different mixture of fish such as smoked haddock. This is white haddock smoked to give it a strong flavour. Tilapia or monkfish are also whitefish you could use. If you want to save money you can buy less fish and add quarters of hard boiled eggs. Alternately add chopped parsley to the sauce.