I tend to whine about fish. Not all fish, mainly fish in Israel. It’s just not great, and you can see in my archives that I don’t have a whole lot of recipes because I’m never very inspired by the fish available here. The flipside is that I love eating fish.
Watch any British cooking show and the famous Fish Pie will often make an appearance. I’ve always like the idea of a fish pie because it’s a good way to disguise fish that isn’t magnificent. The classic English fish pie features wonderful smoked haddock. It’s easy to find in the UK and in South Africa, but certainly not in any stores in Israel, and I imagine that you’d have to go to a specialty store in the US to find it. Having been put off from trying to make a fish pie for this reason for years, I recently decided to just give it a go. I messed about with a few recipes, and the result was a very tasty and colorful fish pie. I happily now have an additional fish dish in my repertoire and it’s a crowd pleaser too.
With winter just around the corner, this is a good recipe to have on hand and it firmly fall into the comfort food category.
1 kg potatoes
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 carrot very finely diced
2 sticks celery very finely diced
150 g good-quality Cheddar cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
½ fresh red chilli finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
400 g skinned salmon fillets
400 g skinned fillets of a firm white fish – hake/bass/meagre (if you live in a country where you can get smoked haddock, use haddock)
200 g fake shrimp (optional). If you can’t get hold of this product in your supermarket, increase the quantity of the fish in equal parts.
2 ripe tomatoes , quartered
Salt and Pepper
1 beaten egg
How to do it
- Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Add them to a large pot of cold salted water. Bring the water to a boil, and simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked through (when you pierce them with a fork they will easily yield. Drain the water off. In the same pot, add the butter, salt and pepper and mash together until smooth. You can also use olive oil instead of butter if you’re feeling healthy. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, saute the vegetables in a pan in some olive oil until soft.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)
- Lightly grease a deep oven proof dish. Cut the fishes into bite size chunks and mix them in a large mixing bowl. Add the sauteed vegetables, cheese, chilli, parsley, lemon juice, tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil over all of it. Grind some black pepper and salt over the top and mix it all together. Spread evenly into the baking dish.
- Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of the fish mixture. Brush the top of the potato with some beaten egg.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
Serves about 6.