Wednesday 14 March 2007

fish pie for pi day

Today is pi day, March 14th, 14/3, 3.14!

Which made what to have for dinner an obvious decision - pie, fish pie in particular. Fish pie because it doesn't require pastry, and can be made from scratch within about an hour, with ingredients that are easy to find. All of which adds up to a great choice for a week day dinner.

Fish Pie
makes 2 generous individual portions

400g white fish fillets
2 bay leaves
6 white peppercorns
parsley stalks
1 cup of milk

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
a knob of butter

1 dessert spoon of butter
1 dessert spoon of flour
leaves from the parsley stalks, chopped

grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Rinse the fish and place in a pan with the bay leaves, peppercorns and parsley stalks and pour over the milk. Cook gently over a medium heat until the fish is just cooked and flakes easily. Strain and reserve the milk, divide the fish between two individual pie dishes and leave aside.

Cook the potatoes until tender, then mash with half the reserved milk in which the fish was poached, a knob of butter and season with salt and pepper.

Melt the dessert spoon of butter over a medium heat then stir in the flour. Stir for at least a minute then add the rest of the milk a little at a time to make a smooth white sauce. Season with salt and white pepper and stir in the parsley.

Pour the sauce over the fish in the pie dishes, then top with the mashed potato. To easily cover the fairly liquid pie filling, put the potato around the edge of the pie dish in small amounts first then fill in the middle - this will stop the potato weighing down the filling and pushing the sauce over the side. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake, on a tray to catch the overflow, for 20 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden.

Best served with peas and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (you would be forgiven for thinking that is all I drink!). We chose French Farm Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - another South Island purchase, this time from the Banks Peninsula, near Christchurch ; perhaps my favourite Sauvignon Blanc.

But if you missed the opportunity for pie today, you can always approximate on July 22nd . . . !


Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Hurrah for Pi day! I know how I'll celebrate!

Emma said...

Yes! Isn't it a great reason to eat pie!

Morven said...

I'd never heard of pi day until I becaome a food blogger. Your recipe sounds delicious and not to fussy like some fish pie recipes that seem to include everything but the kitchenn sink.

Unknown said...

This looks really great.

I'd love to pair a wine with this dish and serve it on It's a UK-based Wine Web site run by my friend; I e-mailed you about it, but know that sometimes the e-mails read like junk or spam. Hope to hear from you soon.

Unknown said...

Hi Emma,

My version of your dish is now online with a wine to match, though my version looks nowhere as good as yours. Every time I look at those two pies I get hungry.

Thanks again.

Emma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emma said...

Sean - Your version looks brilliant! I am dying to try your match - I do love Rosé - perfect in summer I think this will be on the menu in a few months! A cool summer's evening . . . perfect.
Thanks for using my recipe and making such a great match.