From the minute you start preparing it, when the aroma starts to fill the kitchen, when the food is plated, just as you dig your fork or spoon into it, and savour those precious few seconds before you take the first mouthful. Yes we all have one, a standby comfort food dish! Perfect for days like today where its drizzling, a slight chill in the air, and its dark before 5pm!
My comfort food is fish pie. Being allergic to shell fish, I never go for the “luxury” fish pies, but there is something about the mix of white and smoked fish, the thick, thick cheese sauce topped with shredded mashed potato! Delicious!
Yesterday, on my Twitter timeline, I saw a tweet from Jacqui Gourlay with a recipe for Haddock covered in a cheese sauce. Well needless to say, that stayed on my mind all night, and most of today. I had to try it! Well, in usual Muddy Kitchen Floor style, I didn’t have the same ingredients and adapted it slightly to by adding some potato and using smoked haddock.
Quick Fish Pie (serves 2)
Take an onion and thinly slice it and place in a large pan. Lay 2 Smoked Haddock fillets on top and cover with water. Place on a low to medium heat, cover and leave. Meanwhile, peel and quarter 3 large potatoes, place in a pan of salted water and boil until soft.
When the haddock is cooked, place the fillets and now softened onions into a dish. Cover with foil to keep warm. Keep 1/4 of a pint of the fish stock to use in your cheese sauce.
In the same pan that you cooked the fish in melt 1 table spoon of Butter, then add 1 table spoon of Plain Flour. Cook the flour off for about 1 minute, then slowly add 1/2 pint of milk, and the 1/4 pint of fish stock. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth. As your sauce heats, it will become thick. At this stage add some cheese, about 4 ounces. I used Sage Derby, a delightful bright green cheese, which turned the sauce a light green, a bit like parsley sauce!
When the cheese has melted, pour over the haddock. Place this under a medium grill until some of the cheese begins to “catch” and brown. When this happens, remove from the grill, then using a potato ricer, rice your mash directly on top of the fish, then top with a little more of the grated cheese. Return to the grill until the potatoes and cheese have browned.
I served this with stir fried thinly sliced cabbage, grated carrot and Swiss Chard. A great simple, cheesy fishy dish!