Brace yourself people, this is probably going to be the one of the worst recipe posts you'll ever see. I promised you a cheesy fishy pie of loveliness but the amount of blogging rules I've broken is pretty bad. The dish itself is delicious but I'd definitely get big fat crosses in red pen for the artificial lighting, blurriness, unappetising shots, shadows and taking pictures at night.
Ack well, I'm blaming the pie. You can't have winter warmer comfort food and make it in summer now, can you?
Creamy Smoked Haddock Puff Pastry Pie
(originally from The Vicar's Wife Cook Book by Elisa Benyon)
To serve 4 people you'll need:
500kg smoked haddock (or you could use other white fish. We use one packet of Tesco's frozen haddock, it's 400g but it doesn't seem to matter)
100ml white wine
90g (ish) spinach (we used the frozen stuff, usually about two balls is enough)
½ red onion (or 1 whole small one, whatever you've got really), diced
25g plain flour
150ml double cream
15g chives (we just chuck in a couple of shakes of dried ones)
1 ½ handfuls of cheddar cheese (make sure they're big handfuls!), grated
A roll of puff pastry (I buy one of those Jus Rol packs of two and use one of them)
1. Boil the eggs either in a pan of water or an egg boiling machine. They need to be hard-boiled so you can just leave them at the back of the cooker while you get on with everything else.
2. We use frozen haddock so we defrost it in the microwave first for a minute or two then break it into chunks straightaway. The proper recipe says not to do this til later on but hey ho.
3. Put the white wine and the water into a pan, bring it to the boil, turn the heat down and add the chunks of fish so they poach for a few minutes.
4. Take out the fish with a holey spoon or (more properly) a fish slice and pour the liquid into a jug for later.
5. Get another pan organised with the spinach and a bit of water and let it cook til it's wilted (or until you realise the all the water's boiled away and then suddenly remember, 'ahh, the spinach!')
6. Put the butter into the pan you cooked the fish in and pop in all the onion bits and fry them up a bit.
7. Once the onion is soft, chuck in the flour and let it cook for a couple of minutes then stir in all the fishy liquid from earlier. In theory you're supposed to add it gradually but I'm impatient and pour it all in, stirring all the time and letting it simmer a bit to thicken.
8. Pour in the double cream and chives and stir it all together til it looks shiny and glossy then take the pan off the heat and add all the cheese.
9. Squeeze all the water from the spinach and chop into whatever pieces you like.
10. Shell the eggs and chop them into quarters.
11. Now it's time to assemble the pie. Grab a dish, put the fish at the bottom, arrange the eggs on top, lay the spinach all over and then pour over the cheesy fishy sauce. Then just unroll the puff pastry and pop it on the top, brushing it with, well the recipe says beaten egg but I don't like wasting a whole egg just for that so I use a bit of milk instead.
12. Bung it in the oven at 190°C (Gas Mark 5) for about 30-40 minutes (although my oven seems to take about 45 minutes, basically just cook it til it looks done).
13. Dish up, serve with whatever and enjoy!
(it tastes even better the next day with a side order of chips from the fish & chip shop, never let it be said that I'm not classy...)
Let me know if you give it a go!