Friday, October 15, 2010

Seafood Pie

Photography and text by Michael O Meara

Fish pie

There are few better ways to enjoy fresh seafood than a well made fish pie. A creamy white wine sauce flavoured with leek and parsley mixed with what-ever fish is available and of course best. Rich decadent mashed potato finished with real butter and cream and topped with local Galway cheese baked till golden, fish pie is really one of the great Irish foods.
There are no rules when it comes to what fish to use in a seafood pie. Mussels, prawns in their various forms, hake, cod, haddock and salmon, any fish will do. Smoked fish is often used and will give a great depth of flavour, but it is better to use the smoked fish sparingly and use fresh fish as the main base of the dish, at Oscars we use only fresh fish. The choice of potato is also important as a fluffy light mashed potato will make the pie into a meal to be remembered. Fish pies can be constructed and served straight away but will hold well in the refrigerator for up to a day.

To make a seafood pie which will serve 4 the following recipe will work well

For mashed potato
600 grams potatoes peeled and washed (use a dry variety such as roosters)
100 gram butter
50ml cream
50 ml full fat milk
Salt to season

Method: place the potatoes into a large pot and cover completely with cold water. Add a tablespoon of salt to the water and cover the pot with a pre-cut sheet of grease proof paper. Allow the water come to a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft and cooked through. Drain off the water and allow stand for five minutes to allow the potatoes dry out. Place the milk, cream, and butter into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Slowly pour the hot liquid over the potatoes while mashing ( you may not need all the liquid) season the potatoes and place aside.

For fish pie filling
150 gram salmon cut into 2cm cubes
100 gram haddock cut into 2cm cubes
10 large prawns
150 gram cod cut into 2cm cubes
70 gram mussels cooked and removed from their shells
Note: there are no rules for the fish selection and the above selection is intended as a guideline
50 gram butter
50 gram flour
50 ml cream
150 ml fish stock
100 gram leeks sliced fine
25 grams parsley chopped fine
30 ml white wine
50 gram shallots diced fine
40 gram Killen Galway cheese sliced thinly