The ambient light in the bedroom awakens me and my brain begins to surface. Date? 16th of May. Light? Hmmm, it looks grey out there. Temperature? Brrrrrrr!
What? Something doesn’t compute.
It’s spring in England but it’s so cold and rainy that we’ve still got the heat on. As the date increases, I keep hoping the temperature will increase, too, but this morning there was even a bit of frost L To my mind we should be having bright sunshine and barbecue weather! Instead, it rains every day yet we’re officially in drought. Go figure.
So, what to eat in this kind of weather? Salads don’t keep me warm enough. I need something to stick to my ribs! ThermoHubby John came to the rescue once again with the perfect idea: fish pie.
Fish pie is a traditional dish with loads of steps but Thermomix makes it fast and easy to make. Chopping herbs is a snap, mashed potatoes are an exciting breeze, and the parsley sauce makes itself while you set the table or help the kids with homework. Then just pop the results into your oven and quicker than quick dinner is on the table. As a matter of fact, most fish pie recipes state a total prep + cooking time of 2 to 3 hours, but with Thermomix we made ours in under an hour, start to finish!
Madame Thermomix’s Fish Pie
Makes one large pie or four individual pies. Can be frozen once assembled, then just thaw completely and bake in the oven as usual. Thanks to “Fast and Easy Cooking,” the 300-recipe cookbook included with every Thermomix TM31 purchased from UK Thermomix, for the Parsley sauce (page 43) and mashed potato (page 146) recipes.
For the parsley sauce:
A handful of flat-leaf parsley
40 g butter, in 3 or 4 lumps
50 g plain flour
400 g milk
salt and pepper to taste
For the mashed potatoes:
500 g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
500 g water
½ tsp salt for the water
75 g milk
25 g butter
salt and pepper to taste
For the filling:
400 g mixed fish chunks
a few knobs of butter
optional: 50 g frozen peas
Make the parsley sauce:
- Drop parsley on the blades of your Thermomix running at Speed 6. Turn off, scrape out and reserve.
- Add all the other sauce ingredients to your Thermomix bowl and cook 90° C/6 minutes/Speed 4.
- Add reserved parsley and mix 10 seconds/Speed 2. If using, add frozen peas and stir into sauce with spatula. Reserve the cooked sauce in the TM bowl, in a ThermoServer or in a jug.
Make the mashed potato:
- Self-clean and rinse your Thermomix bowl, or use your second bowl if you have one. Place the cubed potatoes in the internal steaming basket. Weigh the water into the Thermomix bowl, add the salt and insert the internal steaming basket. Cook Varoma setting/15 minutes/Speed Spoon. (While the potatoes are cooking, start assembling your pie(s) as below.)
- Check the potatoes with the tip of a knife. If necessary, cook a few minutes longer until tender and fully cooked. Do not attempt to mash undercooked potatoes, as they will turn to glue. Drain the potatoes, reserving the steaming water.
- Insert the butterfly whisk and add the milk or cream and the seasonings along with the cooked potatoes. Mix 2 to 4 seconds/Speed 4, depending on the desired consistency. (Whoosh! You’ve got mashed potatoes! Madame Thermomix gets really excited about making mashed potatoes in her Thermomix. It’s so, so fast and easy!)
Assemble your fish pie(s):
- Preheat the oven to 200° C/400° F. Generously butter your pie dish(es). Divide the fish evenly between four small pie dishes or place it all in one large pie dish.
- Pour over the parsley sauce, season with salt and pepper, and top with mashed potato. Decorate the mashed potato with a fork to make ridges. These will brown and crisp up nicely, giving the topping a lovely texture. Optional: Top with a knob of butter.
Now bake your fish pie(s) for 35-40 minutes, until the top is crisp and brown and the sauce is bubbling through. Serve at once.
The beauty of fish pie is that you can modify the filling ingredients as you wish. For instance, The Hairy Bikers add prawns to their fish pie, while James Martin uses a mixture of haddock and salmon. Not everyone appreciates this combination, but Madame Thermomix happens to like cheese with fish so you can also add some cheese to your parsley sauce, or to your mashed potatoes, or just – also?? – top your fish pies with some grated cheese for a golden, crispy crust. I’d better stop there because just writing about cheese-topped fish pie is making me terribly hungry!
Bon appétit !