Many of you will know that Mr E is a helicopter pilot. For many years, he flew helicopters over the North Sea, based in Aberdeen and because of that, we’re always huge supporters of the RNLI whose crews work tirelessly to rescue people and save so many lives (including those of 12 oil workers and two pilots who ditched in their helicopter about 30 miles off the Aberdeen coast in 2012). Did you know that 2016 RNLI lifeboats rescued 8,643 people? And they do all that good work with the majority of funding coming just from voluntary contributions. When Crisp ‘n Dry contacted me to tell me that they’re supporting RNLI’s Fish Supper campaign, I was happy to join in and I’ve got two delicious recipes for you if you want to host your own fish supper, including this yummy, creamy fish pie with sweet potato mash, plus a delicious crispy Baja fish taco recipe coming on Saturday.
We’ve very lucky because Mr E has a friend who knows a sea fisherman and often brings all sorts of different fish into the office for him – this time it was these huge prawns, already cooked, that I added in to the fish pie mix, but feel free to leave them out or add any other bits you fancy – I sometimes add boiled eggs, dill or parsley, plus of course you can use normal potatoes instead of sweet ones. I’m afraid it was a little dark so the lights had to go on and they always ruin food photography!
Creamy fish pie with sweet potato mash
You will need:
2 tbsp Crisp ‘Dry oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large sweet potatoes
1 x 400g frozen fish pie mix (mine was from Waitrose)
2 bay leaves
Around 400ml milk
100g frozen peas
Cooked prawns (optional)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp plain flour
Firstly, preheat the oven to gas 5/190C.
Heat the oil over a medium heat and then fry the onions until soft and just starting to go golden. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
Peel and chop the potatoes and cook in plenty of boiling water until soft.
Place the frozen fish pie mix into a large, heavy based frying pan and pour over enough milk to just cover the fish. Add the bay leaves and season well. Bring to a simmer, then cook gently for around 5 minutes, or until the fish is just tender.
When the fish is just cooked, scoop it out with a slotted spoon and keep to one side. Strain the remaining poaching and keep for the sauce.
For the creamy sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, then stir in the flour. Allow it to cook for a minute, stirring well, then gently whisk in the poaching milk until you get a nice, creamy sauce. Adjust the seasoning and then pour the sauce all over the reserved onions, fish, peas and cooked prawns (if using), mixing very gently so you don’t break up the fish.
Spoon the filling into an ovenproof dish, then mash the potatoes with a little butter and pile over the fish mixture. Bake for around 20 minutes until the top is just starting to brown. Serve with some steamed seasonal veg.
If you’re on a budget
As usual, make sure you check the discounted section – fish has a relatively short sell by date and you’ll often find decent pieces of fish there – also consider buying frozen as it can work out cheaper (also, leave out the prawns as these tend to be expensive).