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Archive for March 25th, 2009

I have a large boxful of recipe cuttings collected over the years.  In recent years I have tried to make a note of the source and date, but this is one of those where the source is lost in the mists of time.  It came from the pages of an old magazine, but I have no idea which one … and it has been slightly adapted by me.

The information I do have is that the original writer of the recipe was Amanda Grant, a regular contributor to magazine food pages.  For a more healthy version use reduced fat crème fraîche and cream.  The fish I used was a mixture of salmon & pollack.  The original recipe calls for 12 fresh raw prawns which would be great for a special occasion, but I have found that this is just as good with small prawns.  We particularly enjoyed this when it was made with red pesto rather than the usual green.  The tomato base of the red pesto seemed to complement the flavours of the dish more than the basil of the green.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Fish Pie with Pesto Topping
(Serves 4-6)

6 medium sized potatoes
2-3tbsp Pesto – red (sun dried tomato) or green (basil) flavoured
200ml/7fl oz crème fraîche*
284ml/8fl oz double creme* (half a tub of Elmlea)
25g/1oz butter (divide in two)
1tsp olive oil
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
40g/1½ Parmesan, grated – plus a little more to go on top if you wish
Lemon juice, to taste
100g/4ozs peeled prawns, defrosted and drained
550g/1½lb fish (See notes above) cut into pieces
2/3 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach

1.  Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas 6.

2.  Chop the potatoes fairly small and place in a pan of water.  Bring to the boil and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender.  Drain and mash with the Pesto, half of the butter, 1tbsp crème fraîche and as much cream as it takes to make them fluffy and creamy without being sloppy.

3.  Melt the remaining butter with the olive oil and gently cook the fennel and onion until transparent.  Add the remaining cream and crème fraîche and warm gently stirring occasionally, removing from the heat just before it boils.  Stir in the Parmesan, reserving a little to sprinkle on the top if you wish.  Season and add lemon juice to taste.

4.  Add the prawns, fish and spinach and mix together.

5.  Transfer to an ovenproof dish.  Spoon over or pipe on the pesto mash (sprinkling with the remaining grated Parmesan if you wish).

6.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through and golden.

7.  Serve with halved baked tomatoes plus salad or broccoli, green beans or peas.

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