Fish Pie with a Crust

Who doesn’t love a pot pie? Switching out chicken for flaky fish maintains the comforting dish we love with a lighter feel. Some think it reminds them of a London pub; others think of New England. Fish pie exists in many cultures, with different toppings and local vegetables. I love the variety of it all. Try making the Fish Pie in ramekins for individual portions.

 

This Fish Pie can be economical as well. In speaking to my fishmonger, I found that he was willing to save scraps from fish for me—for free! A variety of fish would make the pies unique each time. You can also buy fish on sale and freeze until you have enough fish for the pie. Fish Pie doesn’t use a great deal of fish to achieve its flavor. Use more salmon and tuna for a more elegant approach. Try haddock and cod for a homier and heartier approach. All the combinations are a tasty and cozy combination!

Foodie Lit

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Lost Lady by Michael Reidy immerses us in the details of Paris of the 1920’s, the linguring effects of the Great War, the  vibrant communities of artists, musicians and Russian émigrés. Every aspect of this era is written in depth and with a profoundness that makes the era come alive.

 

Michael only asks that his readers work hard—the hints regarding the intrigues, enigmas and conspiracies are not given away. We have to do some digging to bring to light the answers that we and the characters seek.

An excellent book to read and author to follow.

Fish Pie with a Crust

 

Yield: 1 pie. 8-10 serving for a start. 4-6 servings for a main course.

 

Poaching fish

12 ounces fish, chopped. Use one fish or a mixture of salmon, tuna, haddock, cod, mahi-mahi

    and other favorite fish

1 1/2 cup milk, divided

1/2 cup water

 

Vegetables

4 tablespoons olives oil or butter

1 medium leek, chopped

1 broccoli crown, chopped

1 large carrot, cut in 1/2” slices

1 stalk celery, chopped

6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped

1 large potato, scrubbed and chopped

1 turnip, scrubbed and chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 small rutabaga, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup peas

 

Roux

1 cup vegetable stock

2 tablespoons flour

1 bay leaf

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

 

Puff Pastry

1 sheet puff pastry

1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

 

10-12” deep pie dish

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400. Place fish in an oven proof pan with sides and add 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup water so that liquid just covers fish. Poach for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Cool and drain.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter. Sauté leek for 4 minutes or until translucent. Add turnip, potato, rutabaga adding oil or butter as needed. While this is sautéing, steam broccoli until tender. Drain. Add to sautéed vegetables. 

  3. Add spinach to veggies and cook until spinach is wilted and liquid is mostly evaporated.

  4. Remove veggies from pan and reserve.  Add 2 tablespoons oil or butter and add 2 tablespoons flour. Stir until mixed and add 1/2 cup milk. Stir to mix. Add 1 cup vegetable stock. Stir until smooth. Add vegetables and simmer until liquid is thickened.

  5. Lower oven temperature to 350F.

  6. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs into bottom of piepan. Pour vegetable mixture into pie pan. Defrost and roll out puff pastry sheet to 1” wider than pie pan. Before placing over vegetables, with a sharp knife make several slits in the pastry for venting. Evenly cover pie pan and crimp edges.

  7. Brush pastry with egg wash. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Remove from oven.

  8. Cool slightly before serving.

Expandthetable suggestions

Dairy Free: Use olive oil or dairy free margarine in place of butter. Use a non-dairy milk, such as almond or soy.

Gluten free: Use a gluten free crust and gluten free breadcrumbs. In place of flour, use potato starch. You may also use mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash in place of a crust.

Vegetarian: Omit fish and double the vegetables or add other vegetables of choice: Sauté or steam chopped zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, bell peppers, or corn kernels.

Make it cheesy. After brushing with egg wash, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of pastry.

Richer: When making roux, add cream instead of milk.

Gluten Free/Passover Crust:  By hand or in a food processor, mix or pulse together 2 1/2 cups almond Flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons cold margarine, or butter, 1 egg. Remove from processor, wrap in plastic wrap for 20 minutes or more until cold. Roll out between parchment paper, and gently unfold on top of vegetables. Prick with fork for venting. Continue with recipe.

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