To be more accurate, I signed up a fortnightly CSF (Community Supported Fishery) programme with local fishermen. This is my second collection (out of five). During the collections, I would go to Harvard square farmers' market to collect the fresh fish with my recycled shopping bag. I signed up for a 'whole fish' programme despite there is option for me to opt for 'fillet'. So I have to clean and scale the fish. I guessed it turned out to be such a problem for me. The kitchen was in a mess and the whole apartment smelled like the 'sea'. Luckily, the fish were extremely fresh and not much of a stench.
It is really amazing that with this programme, I explore more ways of cooking different kinds of fish.The first week, I have got Dabs. I tried cooking it two ways, baked with potatoes and pan-fried. It was so delicious. This week I have got Pollock. Pollock is a white fish, considered strong flavoured. It is considered a cheaper version of haddock and cod.
I have been thinking about making a traditional English fish pie for some time and finally I got white fish in my hands. I am going to make this pie a little more luxurious with prawns and vegetables. I referred to a few different recipes and also consulted my palate. Here's my version of Traditional English Fish Pie.
Recipe (4 servings)
3 large potatoes
500g fillet of pollock (salmon and cod is fine), cut into big chunks
6-8 large shrimps, shelled and deveined
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into small dices
1 stick of celery, cut into small dices
2 eggs, hardboiled and quartered
1 handful of parsley leaves, chopped
3tbsp of grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup Fish stock
1 cup of Fresh Milk
1/2 cup of Heavy cream
1 Bay leaf
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 tbsp Butter
3 tbsp of plain flour
1/4 tsp Paprika
Salt and Pepper
- Cut the potatoes into quarters. In a pot of boiling water and 1/2 tsp of salt, boil the potatoes until soft. You can use a fork to test it. Remove, drained and peel the skin.
- Mashed the potatoes and add 2 tbsp of butter and 1/2 cup of milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put aside and keep it warm.
- In a small pot of boiling water, blanch carrots and celery for 2 minutes. Drain and put aside.
- In a large pan, bring the fish stock and bay leaf to boil. When it starts boiling, bring the heat to low.
- Add in fish chunks and prawns to poach for 5 minutes. Remove.
- Keep the poaching liquid. Dispose the bay leaf.
- In a saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter in low heat. Add in plain flour slowly. Stir evenly and prevent the roux from browning. Add enough flour to form a dough like substance that doesn't sticks to the sides of the pan.
- Add in the poaching liquid into the roux slowly. Using a whisk, stir well. you will see the liquid thickening. Bring it to a light boil.
- Add in milk and heavy cream. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add in carrots, celery, parsley, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius.
- In a baking tray or earthenware, lay the fish, prawns and eggs evenly. Pour the prepared cream sauce for it. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top.
- Spread the mashed potatoes over it.
- Placed in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until crispy and golden on top.
- Serve piping hot with lovely green salad.
You can always add other seafood into the dish. Scallops and clams will be great!