Tuesday 27 March 2012

Gluten Free Fish Pie

fish pie
Fish Pie
This is an old school recipe from my pre-coeliac days and though I haven't made it in years (not sure why) I haven't had to adapt the recipe to be gluten free at all, it just is.

This fish pie is a lovely meal and can easily be adapted to include your choice of fish and shellfish. I'm going to break the recipe down into sections, otherwise it's going to be a complicated mess to write up! When you cook from instinct, recipes, especially ones with lots of steps are hard to document. This isn't a hard meal to make, but it does involve a few different processes, it's so worth it though.

To serve 2 people.

Filling Ingredients:

175g Smoked Haddock
1 large Squid Tube
6 King Prawns
300ml Milk
Bunch of Fresh Parsley
25g Garlic Butter

Sauce Ingredients:

50g Garlic Butter
3 heaped tablespoons Corn Starch
400ml Milk
5 tablespoons Squid Brand Fish Sauce

Topping Ingredients:

2 medium - large Potatoes
25g Garlic Butter
Good pinch of Salt
50g Gruyere

Before I go on, I must say that these quantities are a guide. For starters, to make up the sauce you need to make a gluten free roux. In case you don't know, a  roux is usually equal amounts of flour and fat, but I add corn starch slowly to melted butter, so I can't give an exact amount for sure. I believe that seeing the roux come together bit by bit is far more more of a guide than any exact quantities can be. If you have the roux right then you will think that it isn't, if you haven't done it before!!

Ah, complicated to relay, but what you want to achieve is an almost fluffy dough-like consistency. This is what will make a really thick but smooth luxurious sauce when it's done, here's where a photo would have come in handy! It's easy, other cooks reading this will no doubt be rolling their eyes at my naive description of this, but hey ho, I'm a self taught home cook and though I'm so far away from up my own bottom, I make bloody good food. Trust me, if I didn't, I wouldn't eat it and I certainly wouldn't promote it to others!

Okay, so the mini rant is over. Potatoes. The quantity of potatoes is going to depend on what you are going to serve this in. You want a thin but even coverage on the top of the pie, how large the surface of the serving dish is, is going to determine how many potatoes you need. It's not easy writing these recipes you know!

  • Topping: Peel the potatoes and boil them on the hob (time will depend on potatoes, around 25 mins for regular white ones), add a pinch of salt to the water.
  •  Whilst the potatoes are boiling prepare the seafood. Devein the prawns, remove any skin from the squid and cut into rings, check for any bones in the haddock. 
fish pie ingredients
Prawn Shortage In This Instance!
  • Filling: Roughly chop the parsley.
  • Heat a frying pan on high and melt the garlic butter with the milk.
  • Add the seafood and parsley.
fish pie filling

  • Cook for a couple of minutes. The prawns will be ready first, you'll know once both sides are pink, remove them and put into your serving dish, then the squid, then the haddock.
  • Keep the milk.
  • Break the haddock into flakes.
  • Sauce: In a saucepan, melt the garlic butter on high, as it melts, slowly add the corn starch and mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Keep adding the corn starch and mixing until you have a smooth blob of roux.
  • Once the roux has formed add the milk that you cooked the seafood in and mix.
  • Add the fish sauce.
  • Keeping the heat at high the sauce will begin to thicken, keep adding the milk and mixing until you get a thick but smooth sauce.
  • Take off the heat and put to one side.
  • Topping: By now your potatoes should be boiled. Put them through a potato ricer for a beautifully smooth mash.
potato ricer
Potato Ricers Make The Best Mash Ever!
  • Add the garlic butter and salt and mix with a wooden spoon to form the luxurious mash.
  • Heat a grill on high.
  • Pour the creamy sauce over the seafood.
fish pie cooked filling
Fish Pie Filling With Sauce
  • Spoon the mash over the filling, grate the gruyere on top.
  • Put under the grill for 10 minutes.
gluten free fish pie
Fish Pie, Done!
You can't really see the beauty of it from that photo, I should have used a different dish, one with less depth. I could have added more mash on top but with a fish pie I think you should get more filling than topping.

gluten free fish pie layers
Side View
I first cooked this about 5 years ago, back then, I wasn't a coeliac, I wasn't an emotional wreck and I was nowhere near as good a cook as I am today! We have this little black book of recipes that charted our meals before Free From G came along, I looked in it yesterday to get the recipe for this fish pie and you know what? The page said Fish Pie 230C 15 mins. That was it!

Not much has changed in this recipe since I used to cook it, I used exactly what I would have back then, it's always been naturally gluten free. The one thing that stood out from memories of this dish was the sauce, I've got quite good at sauces recently, you could tell! I also prefer cooking the filling then grilling the topping, that way you have much more control over the seafood. If it gets overcooked it just doesn't work.

Another thing that I use now that I didn't back then is a potato ricer. In case you aren't familiar with one, it's that oversized garlic press thing in one of the pics above. If you like mash, you will LOVE a potato ricer because it will make the best mash you have ever had! Forget all the hard work with a regular masher, then having to get the mash out of the slots, this thing is a whizz. Use it in exactly the same way you would a garlic press and see the difference, not a lump in sight! I can't recommend this gadget enough. Look at the texture!

riced potato
Perfect Potato For Mash
It's a great gadget, if you want one see here UK / US.

I hope you try this gluten free fish pie, I hope you like and enjoy it. It has taken me nearly 3 hours to write this post, so you better!!! :)

Terrific Tuesday To All.

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