Fish pie

This is a nice variation on the traditional fish pie with a mashed potato top and cheesy sauce, based on an idea from WorldWide Recipes that includes shrimps and scallops. With all due respect to the Chef, I think putting scallops in a fish pie is a bit of a waste of scallops, so I would always recommend using whatever mixture of not-too-expensive fish you fancy. My absolute favourite version is with real Finnan haddock, but sadly that is completely unobtainable here; the nearest you can get is that ghastly bright yellow stuff that stains everything it touches. On this occasion, we used some fillets of firm white fish and a smallish piece of salmon. Feel free to put shrimps or prawns in too, if you fancy them.

500 g of your choice of fish, cut into bite-size pieces
4 Tbs butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 tbs flour
250 ml dry white wine
250 ml fish or vegetable stock, or water
125 ml cream
2 tbs chopped fresh dill
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper

For the topping:
1.5 kg waxy potatoes (floury ones won’t do — make mash if that’s all you’ve got)
60g butter, melted
grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 220C. Parboil or steam the potatoes for 6-8 minutes depending on size, then drain and set aside to cool. Put the fish in a baking dish. Heat the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat and saute the onion until soft but not brown. Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the white wine, stock, and cream, and bring to the boil, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add the herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste, and pour over the fish in the baking dish, stirring gently.

Peel and coarsely grate the cooled potatoes and toss with the melted butter. Spread over the filling and top with the Parmesan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the fish is cooked and the topping is crisp and golden brown; check to see that the potatoes are cooked and cook a bit longer if not. Serves 4 to 6.

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