I was watching ‘Masterchef, The Professionals, The Best Bits’ (they really do love dragging the maximum televisual delight out of food programmes don’t they) and there was a discussion about ‘food smears’.
Chef Michel Roux Jr (the skeletal Michelin star chef who obviously has eating issues and mad staring eyes) made an unsavoury (sic) comparison between one poor cook’s chocolate-smeared plate and something else which I won’t mention because I’m British.
However he was making a serious point about presentation. And all this about 10 mins before I was going to hit the pots and pans and make a fish pie. Fish pies are nice enough to eat but from a visual perspective can be a bit bland I think – the contents often end up looking like the insides of the android ‘Ash’ played by Ian Holm in Alien.
With that pleasant analogy in mind I decided to create a fish pie which didn’t deteriorate into a homgeneous gloop once cooked.
Bowie is everywhere these days…
And that required the construction of a Deconstructed Fish Pie! The ingredients are the same as for a a standard fish pie – the difference is in the…well there isn’t any really but anyway…
Ingredients for Deconstructed Fish Pie
- 2 cod fillets
- 1 smoked haddock fillet
- 2 salmon fillets
- Uncooked large prawns
- 1/2 pint milk
- Knob of butter
- Fresh dill, chopped
- Sea salt flakes and ground pepper
- Half a big bag of spinach
- 3 boiled eggs
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- ½ glass white wine
- 1 pack puff pastry
- 1 egg, whisked with a tbsp of caster sugar to wash over the pastry
First off put the milk and butter in a frying pan. Add the fish and chopped dill, season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 mins until more or less cooked.
Remove the fish and set aside. Add the prawns and simmer until cooked.
Pour some of the milk into a cup and whisk in the cornflour. Add back to the pan to thicken the sauce. Add the wine and simmer while you get the pastry ready.
The highly technical process of adding wine to a sauce…
Roll out the pastry on a floured board, but not too thin. Cut out some shapes about the size of a big coffee mat. Place on a baking sheet, brush with the eggwash and put in the oven at about 180 centigrade for about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile wilt the spinach in the microwave. Brush the rest of the eggwash over the fish and pop in the oven for a couple of mins to warm through.
Freaky pastry time…
Now bring the elements of your fish pie together. Get a warm plate. Spoon some of the sauce on to the plate.
Lay some spinach on top of the sauce.
Place a piece of haddock on top of the spinach.
Next bit more sauce and then three halves of boiled egg.
Pop a piece of cod on top of the egg, a bit more sauce and top off with one of the pastry slices. I decided not to include the salmon on this one because it looked like it was going to fall over.
Alright it isn’t really deconstructed – it’s just cooked in bits and then put together. And yes I know the haddock is dyed and no I don’t care! Bowie liked it – look at him shouting for more…
Still the Mrs’ version was probably better – she got a salmony version: