Friday, November 4, 2011


The Queen of Fish Pies

Scallop, prawn, haddock and tarragon pie w/ peas and braised baby fennel

Serves 4 very good friends


1 white onion, finely chopped
600ml double cream
1 bunch tarragon, roughly chopped
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
good squeeze of 1/2 lemon
200g roeless scallops (though do not trim if the roes are still attached - they are delicious)
200g raw king prawn tails
2 haddock fillets, roughly chopped
400g King Edward potatoes, peeled and quartered
dash milk
3 small knobs butter
salt and pepper
50g Parmesan, grated
4 bulbs baby fennel, chopped
200g peas
dash white wine
dash stock

Set the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6

Add the potatoes to a large pan filled with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook the potatoes until fluffy and soft and so you can slide a knife through them easily. Drain the water and mash, until smooth, adding the milk, one knob of butter and salt and pepper to taste. This is a rich fish pie so don't go overboard on the salt.

Meanwhile, fry the onion in the second knob of butter until really soft and stringy. Pour in the cream and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to a low simmer and add the tarragon and mustard. Stir through the fish and set aside. The prawns may start to turn pink, but they will continue to cook in the oven.

Pour the fish mix into a large earthenware dish and layer the potato on top. Do not over-fill the dish as it is likely to bubble over in the oven. Scatter the grated Parmesan over the potato and place in the oven for 20 minutes until golden and the sauce is bubbling.

While the pie is in the oven and in its last 5 minutes, melt the last knob of butter in a small pan. Add the chopped fennel and soften. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil so the alcohol burns off. Add the stock and simmer for 5 minutes. At the last minute, or just before you take the pie out of the oven, add the peas and serve.

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