Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fish Pie

Our good friend, M, whose birthday was Saturday, went to boarding school in the UK. There, on a regular basis, she and the other girls were fed fish pie. The majority of girls hated it. She loved it. The ensuing nickname that's stuck with her to this day? Fishguts.

I, too, love fish pie. Unfortunately I attended public school in the good old nutritionally-bankrupt US of A, where the closest we got to pies were the Hostess fruit 'pies' in the cafeteria vending machine.

During cold, damp winter months I make fish pie for The Hubster. He loves it. It's just like Chicken Pot Pie only with silky chunks of cod and dill. What's not to love?!

This is a great cold-weather dish and it freezes well.

Cod Pot Pie
(Makes one deep dish or two average pies)

2 lbs cod fillets, cut into 2" cubes (they shrink)
1 russet potato, cut into 1" cubes, separated
2 Tbsps olive oil (not XV)
1 onion, chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 tsp butter
4 tsp flour
2 cups milk or cream (the heavier, the better) - warmed in microwave
1 Tbsp fresh dill or 2 tsps dried (warning - I love dill, be careful)

Pie crust (home made or refrigerated, I don't judge)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Season fish with a pinch of dill, kosher salt and pepper.
Boil potato, drain, set aside.

Saute carrots, celery and onion in oil until translucent. Transfer to seperate dish.
Add butter to pan, cook until lightly bubbly, add flour, wisk and cook until lightly tanned.
Add milk/cream SLOWLY, wisking constantly.
Add remaining dill, one tsp kosher salt and pepper to taste, wisking constantly.
Bring back to simmer.
Add fish and cook 2 minutes, wisking constantly (this'll scorch if you don't keep it moving).
Remove from heat, add back vegetables, stir it all up and put it in a pie pan.
Top with pie crust, pinch edges, vent, brush with milk and/or egg wash and bake according to your crust recipe/box instruction.

Alternate ending: Put filling in a souffle dish or large individual-serving ramekins, top with home made or refrigerated biscuits, bake until biscuits are brown.

Fishguts, fishguts, eat 'em up - YUM!

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