Back in Texas, I thought it would be nice to make dinner for my parents one night, seeing as how the rest of the time they were feeding me five times a day with an abundance of home cooked Chinese food. My mom had plenty of salmon, cod and shrimp in the freezer, so I quickly looked up some recipes for fish pie, picked one that didn’t involve cream or butter (there’s only so far you can push my parents’ adventurousness and I was already mixing cheese with seafood) and also took advantage of their food processor to make prep work a breeze. The result was fabulous and a little lighter than the usual gutbusting pies served in pubs – perfect for a Chinese-American family and some other Chinese-American friends.
Adapted from JamieOliver.com
freshly ground black pepper
1 kg potatoes
2 sticks celery
150 g good-quality Cheddar cheese
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
300 g salmon fillets, skin off and bones removed
300 g cod fillets, skin off and bones removed
125 g raw peeled king prawns
1 good handful kale or spinach, chopped, optional
Splash of milk, or unsalter butter, optional
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Peel the potatoes and cut into 2cm chunks. Once the water is boiling, add your potatoes and cook for around 12 minutes, until soft (you can stick your knife into them to check).
Meanwhile, get yourself a deep baking tray or earthenware dish and stand a box grater in it. Peel the carrot. Grate the celery, carrot and Cheddar on the coarse side of the grater. Use the fine side of the grater to grate the zest from the lemon. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stalks and add these to the tray.
Cut the salmon and cod into bite-size chunks and add to the tray with the shrimp. Squeeze over the juice from the zested lemon (no pips please!), drizzle with olive oil and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. If you want to add any spinach or kale, do it now. Mix everything together really well.
By now your potatoes should be cooked, so drain them in a colander and return them to the pan. Drizzle with a couple of good lugs of olive oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper. If using, add the butter and milk as well. Mash until nice and smooth, then spread evenly over the top of the fish and grated veg. Use a fork to rough up the top of the pie so you get plenty of crisp golden bits when it’s done. Place in the preheated oven for around 40 minutes, or until cooked through, crunchy and brown on top. Serve piping hot.