Friday, March 15, 2013

Fantastic Fish Pie - The Naked Chef Takes Off

5 large potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch squares
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, halved and finely chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Approximately 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
2 good handfuls grated sharp Cheddar or Parmesan cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
1 pound haddock or cod fillet, skin removed, pin boned and sliced into strips
Fresh nutmeg (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the potatoes into salted boiling water and bring back to a boil for 2 minutes. Carefully add the eggs to the pan and cook for a further 8 minute, until hard boiled, by which time the potatoes should also be cooked. At the same time, steam the spinach in a colander above the pan. This will take only a minute. When the spinach is done, remove from the colander and gently squeeze out any excess moisture. Then drain the potatoes in the colander. Remove the eggs, cool under cold water, then peel and quarter them. Place to one side.

In a separate pan, slowly fry the onion and carrot in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes, then add the cream and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the cheese, lemon juice, mustard and parsley. Put the spinach, fish and eggs into an appropriately sized earthenware dish and mix together pouring over the creamy vegetable sauce. The cooked potatoes should be drained and mashed - add a bit of the olive oil, salt, pepper and a touch of grated nutmeg if you like. Spread on top of the fish. Don't bother piping it to make it look pretty- it's a homely hearty thing. Place in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are golden. Serve with some nice pease or greens.

Makes 6 servings.

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