Tuesday, 15 January 2013
When I mentioned to a friend earlier today that Tom was making Fisherman's Pie for dinner, I got a very strange reaction. While I'm tempted to say, yes, it's just like Shepherd's Pie, but now that shepherds are an endangered species, and fishermen are all out of work it's easy to pick up fresh ones.......no, the whole point of this is that IT HAS FISH IN IT. Silly person.
There are no hard and fast rules with this sort of dish. But I've had various types over the years, and frankly, mine's best. So do this.
First bake some fish. Doesn't matter what kind. You'll need about 1kg for 6 people or thereabouts. Or more. Go right ahead if you have more. Fish shrinks when baked. Season it, shove it in the oven. Done. Or you could grill it. You could pan fry it. You could get a dragon to breath on it. As you wish. IT DOESN'T MATTER - so long as it's cooked.
Then, make some mashed potato. I just taught you about potatoes. Use mealy ones. Or if you don't have mealy ones use the other sort. But do use potatoes. Not bananas. That won't work.
Now then. You have some cooked fish, and you have some mashed potatoes. You COULD just put the one on top of the other, and bake it. I have seen this done, and it's perfectly edible. Enjoyable even. Nothing wrong with simple food.
But here's how to make it fit for a king. Get some fish stock. If you don't know how to make fish stock, ask me. Then, make a roux sauce (likewise), and use half milk (or even cream if you are feeling really decadent) and half fish stock. Mix that in with the fish. Add some gently sautéed onions (or leeks, or shallots) and mushrooms if you like. Then add herbs. Now this is where your personal preference really shows. Parsley, definitely. Then whatever. Do you like dill with fish? Add dill. Do you like thyme? I do. Use what YOU like. Then add copious amounts of black pepper. Garlic is optional (I don't). Mix that all in.
So now you have fish AND a yummy sauce under the mashed potato. Bake it, and/or grill/broil it so the top is browned and crispy. (You can add cheese to the potato if you like).
Serve this with salad and/or peas, and the fish lovers in your family will love you.