The weather has turned here and in Amsterdam and we’ve been enjoy clear sunny days. So needed after months of dark, damp and cold! The boys have started using their balance bikes and we have spent our mornings (and afternoons) out riding and enjoying the sun. Which means, we’re usually back later…and tired…and hungry. So I’ve been making these yummy fish pies that I prepare in advance and just throw into the oven while having a little down time in front of the TV with the boys.
Yup, you heard me right. Fish pie. I had never tasted or even heard of a fish pie before moving to London. Having grown up in Nova Scotia where fish is a mainstay, I thought I had tried it every which way…but a pie? I have to admit, I was a little leary…but it’s delicious. There are so many ways to prepare it that its hard to fault a dish that has so many possibilities.
I went pretty simple with leeks, peas and salmon for my toddlers but when I’m preparing it for myself, I always add a smoked salmon. It gives the whole flavor a real smokey boost – kind of like what bacon does to a really good fish chowder. If you don’t like smoked salmon, don’t worry, it’s not the strong flavor you are thinking of. I guarantee you won’t mind it in a fish pie!
- 300 grams of your favorite fish cut into small cubes (salmon, cod, mini shrimps etc)
- 2-3 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
- 1 leek finely sliced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 flour
- 400ml milk
- 1/4 cup grated cheese of your liking
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- Preheat your oven to 200C.
- Place your leeks and butter in a medium sauce pot and cook until soft.
- Sprinkle in the flour and cook for another minute.
- Then add your milk slowly, whisking continuously to avoid clumps.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer until it thickens.
- Once thickened, remove from heat and add your fish, cheese and peas and mustard powder. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour into individual ramekins, top with the mash potatoes.
- Place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake in the oven until the potatoes start to brown and the pie is bubbling.
- Remove and let cool before serving.
- These are great for preparing ahead and freezing. Instead of baking, wrap in aluminum foil and place in the freezer. To reheat, place frozen pies in a cool oven and bring up to temperature and cook until bubbling. Alternatively, let the pies defrost in the fridge overnight and then cook in a hot oven.
Yesterday was a rough one. My boys have just started pre-school which means 2 hours of freedom for moi 4 mornings a week – yay! Yesterday, however, the youngest twin terror had a fall at school and ended up having a breath holding spell. He’s suffered from these since he was 6 months old but hasn’t had one in almost a 9 months, so we thought we were through them. When he suffers a sharp pain, he ends up getting so upset that he holds his breath until he passes out. Then his body takes over and starts breathing for him, but its a scary minute or so and he comes out quite confused and upset – who would blame him! So this was the first one he has had without me. The teachers were amazing and did just what they were supposed to but still… I wasn’t there. I know this is the first of many many many of these types of things. But it was the first. So I’m allowed to wallow in the guilt.
When we got home, we ended up staying in and cuddling on the couch all afternoon, which meant no trip to grocery store, leaving me without a whole lot of options for dinner.
Scanning my fridge, I found beetroot and puff pastry and some yummy blue cheese leftover from my Tartiflette last week. I make a mean apple tarte tatin and I’ve been meaning to test out a beetroot one for a while, so last night was the night. To be fair, I had never made this recipe before last night. It was all an experiment! I wanted to add some balsamic into the tarte but ended up forgetting to put it in. But, I fixed it by creating a nice reduction to drizzle over which was just as delicious!
Caramelized Beetroot & Red Onion Tarte Tatin w/ Blue Cheese Crema
- Preheat your oven to 190C
- Cook your butter, sugar, beets and onions in a oven proof pan on the stove over medium heat until the beets and onions are nicely caramelized.
- Remove from the heat and place your puff pastry directly on top of the beets and fold under the edges.
- Put in the oven and cook until crisp and brown at the edges - around 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a plate.
- Meanwhile, place balsamic vinegar and honey in a sauce pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to low and let simmer until it has reduces to 1/3 cup. About 10 minutes.
- Combine the cheese and creme fraiche in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- To serve, top with crema and arugula and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
- Store leftovers (if there are any!) in an airtight container and reheat in the oven.