When I brought up the serious topic of ploughed potato fields versus potato mountains on Shepherds Pie, I thought I had put all the arguments to bed. There were some feeble-minded individuals who suggested that I might have been wrong about the ploughed fields. I will deal with them another time. Flori over at Flori Cooks had the effrontery to suggest that the mountains on a Fish Pie should be replaced with waves. “WAVES?” I thought. Where does she get off telling me how to do my fish pie?
I live in a house with four females including the dog. This gives rise to a condition that those who are not at the mercy of the fairer sex cannot understand. When a thought gets subtly planted by the ascendant female, it burrows its way in and, at some later stage, the downtrodden lone male drags the thought up, believing it to be his own. This is how Flori, who lives on a different continent and whom I have never met, managed to get me to cook Fish Pie with Wave Potatoes. Thus waving goodbye to my fish pie.
Here’s what you will need:
- A big piece fo cod or other white fish
- Some nice salmon pieces
- Half a smoked haddock
- A head of brocoli
- A big bunch of parsley
- A small amount of strong English mustard
- Half a litre of milk
- A heaped tablespoon of flour
- A very generous knob of butter
- Grated mature cheddar or similar hard cheese
- Plenty of good mashing potatoes (I used Roosters)
Side note: Get real smoked haddock if possible. The glowing yellow fish that so many of you think is smoked is just some spurious fish painted with a smoke flavoured dye (Or is that die?).
Here’s what to do
Put the potatoes on to boil. When they are done, add some milk and butter. Then mash them. At the risk of boring yourself, mash them again and again. You will be feeling a little weak by the time they are smooth enough. Put the milk, flour and butter into a saucepan and heat until you have a white sauce. Let it bubble for a while to be sure the flour is cooked. Add the grated cheese bit by bit. Chop the fish into chunks and throw them into the oven dish.
Season with salt and pepper. Trim the brocoli (to avoid eating lots of stalks) and add to the pie dish.
Pour the sauce over the fish.
Chop the parsley pretty fine and make a layer of parsley over the fish.
Next comes the potato waves. This involves piping the mash onto the top of the pie in a wave pattern. Do a couple of rows and then involve some guests. It will make them feel that they are part of what you are doing and they will take some of the credit for the final dish. It also gets you out of a very tedious process. This worked for me. I used the time that I saved to make a potato fish.
When the pie is complete, pop it in the oven at 200 degrees C for 50 minutes or until the sea is bubbling. Serve the pie to your hungry guests.
I don’t know whether Flori has completely cured me of potato mountains but I have to admit, the waves worked pretty well and certainly looked excellent. My potato fish (of which I was pretty proud) went to Davy Jones Locker along with the rest of the pie.
I wonder, was that potato fish really my own idea? I THINK it was. Damn those women…