Lottie and Wayne came over for dinner on Saturday night and that’s just a little daunting. Why? because they cook so damn well and always put on a fantastic spread. I decided not to get competitive, and make a simple but hearty meal,a pate for starters, followed by a fab fish pie, full of the freshest cod, haddock and prawns I could get. After hunting through many recipes, I loved Gordon Ramsay’s posh fish pie, because it’s nice and boozy, full of white wine and Noilly Prat, (perfect excuse for making martinis). Served with minty peas and beans, ’twas super and we had just enough room for my wicked dark chocolate mousse with rasberrys and orange blossom cream. There was enough leftovers for Sunday supper too. Mmmmm…
Gordon’s Posh fish pie
- 25g butter
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- ½ fennel bulb, finely chopped
- 250ml dry white wine
- 250ml Noilly Prat or dry Vermouth
- 500ml fish stock
- 500ml double cream
- 1-2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- Sea salt and pepper
- 800g mix of white fish fillets (such as cod, haddock, monkfish, or whatever you like really)
- 200g raw peeled king prawns
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Few sprigs of thyme
- Small handful of tarragon, flat leaf parsley and chervil leaves, chopped. I still dont really know what Chervil is and didn’t use it. And it was awesome anyways.
5. Bake the pie for about 20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown on top. Serve with buttered petit pois or spinach or a crispy green salad.
Method: How to make posh fish pie
1. Heat the butter in a pan and sweat the shallots and fennel until soft. Add the wine and vermouth and reduce by half. Add the stock and bubble away again until reduced by half.
2. Pour in the cream and boil until reduced to a sauce like consistency. Mine was rather thick and creamy when done. Strain through a sieve, discarding the shallot and fennel. I didn’t discard all the stewed veg, because I quite like the texture and bite and they tasted so delish, that I felt bad being wasteful! Stir in the mustard, check for seasoning then leave to cool. I used the full 2 tablespoons and it was lovely.
3. Meanwhile heat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4. Check the fish for any small bones, removing any with tweezers, then cut into 3cm chunks. Poach the fish in enough water to cover, with a squeeze of lemon juice and the thyme, until slightly undercooked. Remove the fish from the poaching liquid with a slotted spoon. Gently fold the prawns and fish into the sauce with a little extra lemon juice and chopped herbs. Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish.
4. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, and mash with a little milk and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg yolks, then either pipe the mash over the filling or spoon it over for a more rustic finish. Egg yolks are an amazing addition. have never added yolk before and they really make the mash glossier and golden. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 C. Serves 4-6.