It's spring or autumn time and you might be looking for something lighter like a healthy salmon and potato pie. This feeds 6 people and has a delicious topping of scalloped potatoes and smoked cheddar cheese! This is so delicious and you really can't tell that it's full of goodness-this is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
I love this particular fish pie as it uses a lot of fish in it and we are always trying to add more fish to our meals, especially after eating a lot of heavy meats during winter. This fish pie doesn't use any cream and just a small amount of butter. There's cheese on top but to me cheese is a health food (mental health too!).
How to Make The Best Fish Pie!
1 - Using cream tastes great but if you're trying to keep things a bit healthier you don't need it. A lot of fish pies are made with a milk roux white sauce. However sometimes the white sauce in a fish pie splits or curdles due to the water released by the uncooked fish cooking in the oven. The key to avoiding curdled or split sauce is poaching the fish first in the milk so that it releases the water at that stage and not while it is cooking in the oven. You then use the milk in your sauce.
2 - If you don't like salmon you can make up the weight with any other type of seafood in this - try prawns, mussels, other fish fillets or calamari. Just pat dry and cut into bite sized pieces.
3 - Avoid using vegetables that release water when cooked (like mushrooms) as this can cause your white sauce to become too watery. I used baby spinach in this pie.
4 - To grate cheese easily, weigh the cheese portion you need and pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes. It will be much easier to grate when firm.
I like to think of this pie as the perfect transitional food. Spring still has chilly days but isn't as bitterly cold as winter and likewise if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, Autumn is often a welcome relief from the heat of summer. This pie is comforting enough, just like a familiar hug.
I don't know about your childhood Dear Reader but mine never involved hugs. My parents just aren't affectionate people and there were no words of affection or physical demonstrations of it. So now I am making up for lost time by requesting lots of hugs from Mr NQN.
"Hugs are the best," I said to him one night after I had requested a long hug.
"There is better. There’s a whole list of things that are better," he said just like the technical person he is that drives me crazy. And then he reeled off a list of things that he thought was better than a hug! Seriously, being married to a man that is so technical can be a challenge but at least I get hugs whenever I need them.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a hugger? Do you eat more fish and seafood in warmer months?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Salmon Scalloped Potato Pie
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 7 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
- 2.5 cups/625mls/21ozs. milk
- 1kg/2.2lbs salmon, skin off, patted dry and cubed
- 600g/20ozs. potatoes
- 2 leeks or 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- 25g/0.9oz butter
- 25g/0.9oz plain all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons French onion soup powder or a fat pinch of salt*
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 95g/3.5ozs. smoked cheddar
You don't have to use French onion soup powder and I don't mean to suggest that it's healthy because it probably isn't but I just had some leftover from another recipe. Salt will do too
I used a Bodalla Dairy Smoked Cheddar Cheese
Step 1 - Spray a 22x33cms/9x13inch baking dish with oil and preheat oven to 170C/340F. First bring the milk to a simmer in a medium sized saucepan. Turn off the heat and then place the salmon in the hot milk and gently turn it in the milk and allow it to turn opaque and cook in the hot milk. Strain the fish and reserve the milk.
Step 2 - Slice the potato into thin slices (I used the largest setting on the mandolin) and place in a saucepan with plenty of salted water and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. While it is cooking do the next step. Drain well and cool when done cooking.
Step 3 - Add oil to a saucepan and heat on medium heat and fry the leeks or onions until soft-around 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the saucepan. Add the butter into the saucepan and melt and then add in the flour and cook this mixture for a minute. Switch to a whisk and add the reserved milk 1/2 cup or so at a time whisking between each addition and allowing it to become a smooth mixture. Add the onion mixture back in and spinach and season with French onion powder or salt and pepper. Add in the salmon and stir to coat with the sauce.
Step 4 - Scoop this mixture into the baking dish. Place the semi-cooked potatoes in a scallop pattern on top of the fish and drizzle with oil and add some more salt on top of the potatoes. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Grate cheddar cheese over the top and then place under the grill for 5 minutes to brown the cheese.