On our last evening in England with our British relatives, we decided to join forces and create a meal out of two “comfort food” dishes that each of us had either grown up with, or grown to love over time. The British contingent opted for a fish pie, while the Middle Eastern half (namely me) decided to combine two comfort dishes into one: gheymeh (whose recipe you will find in one of my previous entries) and a French favourite of mine, ratatouille. You might find this concoction of flavours completely sacrilegious, but I assure you, the end result was a success. In particular, the creaminess of the fish pie balanced out the acidity in the Gheymeh, and by keeping the latter vegetarian, the fish pie stood out as the heartier option of the two. When you think about what grows together, goes together, I think nothing compares when East meets West to create a blend of Mediterranean flavours, including those of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, and garden herbs combined with the delicate flavours of fish. A big thanks to Gemma, Pat, and Eloise for the recipe, and by their accounts, this is one for the recipe file, as you will want to make it again and again!
Gemma’s Fish Pie
1 kg of fish ( 500 g of white fish and 500 g of salmon, or 700g white fish, 200 g scallops, and 100 g prawns ).
150 ml of dry white wine
275 ml fish stock (or vegetable stock)
2 bay leaves
50 g of butter
50 g of plain flour
2 very generous tablespoons of crème fraiche or sour cream
6 cornichons finely sliced
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill
900 g potatoes
1 generous tablespoon capers
50 g butter
50 g cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Peel and boil potatoes for 12 minutes
- Poach fish in simmering wine, stock, bay leaf and salt and pepper for 5 minutes. Then strain the liquid into a bowl.
- Make a roux (add flour and butter over heat), then add strained fish stock gradually and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in crème fraiche, cornichons, parsley and dill.
- Grate slightly cooled potatoes into a bowl.
- Add capers and melted butter, then toss well.
- Remove skin from fish (if necessary), divide into chunks and combine with the sauce.
- Add scallops and prawns (if using).
- Spoon mixture into well buttered baking dish
- Sprinkle potatoes on top, then cheese.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes.