Thursday, 31 October 2013

Fast fish pie

Happy to report another success - a quick and easy meal that's turned out delicious and, this time, healthy. BBC Good Food's Fast Fish Pie lived up to its name.

The recipe starts with celery and garlic, adds fresh cherry tomatoes, then stock (or wine) and tomato puree along with the fish, plus tarragon to finish. I used mixed fish (hake, smoked haddock, salmon) rather than the white fish plus prawns in the recipe, and dill rather than tarragon as I had none in the cupboard. My stock is baby-friendly (low salt) Heinz but with the smoked fish it was fine. A good grinding of fresh black pepper finished things off beautifully.

I made cheesy mash without spring onions (again, none in and not worth buying just for one recipe), and served it with the fish mixture rather than making a pie. It means forgoing the crispy top, but you get your dinner quicker and have one less dish to wash up, so that's a win in my book.

I have to say that the 10 mins prep was a bit optimistic for me. Chopping celery, garlic and tomatoes, making stock, and prepping potatoes were just about quick enough, but skinning the fish and checking for bones was time consuming for a non-expert.

In general it's a pretty healthy and diet-friendly dish. I didn't use as much oil as suggested, but braised the celery with some of the stock, and I could easily have omitted the cheese from the mash - in fact I used some leftover cheese sauce from another dish, giving it good anti-food-waste credentials too. On that note, as the tomatoes and celery are cooked, you can use up ones that might be a bit too past their best to eat raw, and other veg such as carrots or broccoli stems could go in too. To give it a trio of haloes, it's also pretty budget-friendly as you can eke out the fish with more veg, and/or choose cheaper fish or even offcuts - I've seen fish pie mix in the supermarket, which is ideal.

Overall, an extremely tasty dish, and one that can easily be batch cooked into larger portions. Definitely a keeper in our menu rotation!

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