So here is a traditional fish pie made with white fish and smoked fish but enlivened with peas and prawns. This is a whole meal in a single dish, ideally suited for Friday evening (or even weekend) cookery.
Classic Fish PieServes: 4
550g (1 1/4 lbs) potatoes, boiled in their skins until tender, peeled and mashed
500g (1 lb) firm white fish fillets (eg cod or haddock)
225g (8 oz) smoked haddock fillet
1/4 onion, sliced
400ml (1 3/5 cups) milk
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
65g (2 1/2 oz) butter
25g (1 oz) plain flour
115g (4 oz) garden peas
85g (3 oz) prawns
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
lemon juice, to taste
4 tbsp mature Cheddar cheese, grated
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Method:Combine the fish, bayleaf and onion slices in a pan. Pour over 350ml (1 2/5 cups) of the milk in a covered pan and poach gently for about 8 minutes. Strain the fish and reserve the milk.
Once the fish is cool enough to be handled flake its flesh into a pie dish (discard any skin and bones). Mix the eggs with the fish.
Melt 25g (1 oz) of the butter in a saucepan, scatter over the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute then gradually whisk in the reserved milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until nicely thickened.
Take off the heat, then add the peas, prawns, parsley, lemon juice and seasonings. Pour the resultant mixture over the fish and gently stir to combine.
Melt the remaining butter into the remaining milk then beat this mixture into the potatoes. Spoon the creamed potatoes evenly over the fish mixture then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for about 25 minutes.