We’ve been eating a lot of bread recently as a family, since we started making our own sourdough, and to put it frankly it’s not good for my hips. With the kids eating fresh bread for breakfast and homemade sourdough pizza last night – which – don’t get me wrong, was truly a thing of beauty despite the inevitable coating of my freshly cleaned kitchen in flour – today, I felt I needed to put my foot down and reintroduce some much-needed fish to our lives.
Having a husband who won’t touch the stuff has done little for two tricky kiddies who slightly know they can get away with following suit. So when I texted Tom this morning to apologise for making fish pie, he digitally grinned at me, and said: It always worries me when you start a text with “I’m sorry but…”, so fish pie comes as something of a relief…
So, armed with leftover raw milk from the kid’s breakfast, and a quick stop off after the school run for generic white fish – it was all they had in Simply Fresh as the posh local fishmongers – who make a mean fish pie mix – wasn’t yet open – I set about making a fish pie that can be enjoyed by the whole family, however fussy they are.
The key ingredient is bacon, yes bacon – fishy white fish can be disguised and made delicious with the addition of bacon, and so I snipped some streaky rashers into a pan, and added finely chopped celery, spring onions and courgette to soak up the bacon flavour. All the while, I poached the fish in the milk, adding crushed garlic, salt and pepper.
When the fish was flaky, I placed it into an oven safe dish, along with the stewed down veggies and bacon, and some fresh parsley, fluffed it all up together, and then boiled three eggs – one for my breakfast and two for the pie. To the remaining milk I added half a tub of Creme Fraiche and let it simmer until it was basically sauce thickness. In went the sauce and the eggs to the oven safe dish, and voila, you have a fish pie base that ought to offend no one.
My kids are none too fond of mashed potato neither, making this dinner a guaranteed whinge fest. But forewarned is forearmed, and my intention was to stem the tide of dinner disappointment by making the mashed potatoes as delicious as possible. Four peeled, boiled tatties, a wacking great knob of butter, salt, pepper, no milk – I want these bad boys to go crispy- and mashed to within an millimetre of their lives, then I dolloped the resulting mash onto the top of the now set pie mix, forked it to finish, and will add a few more dollops of butter before I put it back in the over for half hour for tonight’s post-climbing tea. Hopefully the monkeys’ll be hungry enough to enjoy it 🙂
I might even rename it “breakfast pie” because it contains basically breakfast: eggs, bacon and – as my son doesn’t like cheese, which I’d normally grate on top of the mashed potato – I might even finish it off with a handful of crushed cornflakes for extra crunch before I bake it.