What is a fish pie?
Fish pie is a dish that I’m confident is loved all over the world and I’m sure many different cultures have a wide variety of recipes that differ to include local catches, herbs or traditions. As i know it, fish pie consists of a mixture of different fish chunks, in a creamy parsley sauce covered with mash and baked until crispy, much like a fish version of a cottage pie.
Fish pie holds quite a lot of nostalgia for me. I started eating fish pie when I was maybe 13 or 14, when I first started dieting. I had joined a local Weight Watchers group with a friend and her family and I was sticking mostly to the weight watcher ready meals for ease of point counting! My favourite was the Fish Pie which I would eat pretty much every single day for dinner on top of a mountain of steamed vegetables. As I’m sure you can imagine I eventually put myself off fish pie, not just the Weight Watchers ready meal but all fish pie, couldn’t even stomach the thought of it for a good 5 years. Fish pie is however, a very healthy meal balanced meal and for this reason I have started eating it again. This recipe is much tastier than the ready meal and only contains 400kcal per portion.
Do you have a diet restriction?
This recipe is:
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free (when made with plant based milk)
- 1 syn
- Low fat
Step 1: Prepare the potatoes
To start with, peel 800g worth of potatoes, chop them up and set them in a pan with boiling water for 20 minutes. This will make the mash that we will top the fish pie with.
Step 2: Choose and cut up your fish
Whilst your potato is cooking you can prepare your fish. I used 1 120g salmon fillet, 1 120g smoked haddock fillet and 2 120g cod fillets. This totals 480g of raw fish. If you would like to chose a different type of fish then your more than welcome but you want to aim for the same total amount, give or take a few grams. Prawns are a great option too. Place your fish to one side ready to use later.
Step 3: Mash the potatoes!
By now your potatoes will likely be cooked. Drain them, add them back to the pan and add 2 tbsp of margarine, a splash of milk and a decent crack of salt. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth, This will take around 5 minutes. I mentioned it before in my cottage pie recipe but the secret to perfect mash really is in the elbow grease, make sure you get every last lump.
Step 4: Create the parsley sauce
Now we are half way to done! We just have to make our sauce now. To make this fish pie recipe i use a butterless roux. Measure out 400ml of milk and 2 tbsp of cornflour. In a small dish mix together the cornflour and a small amount of milk until the cornflour is completely disolved. This is called a cornflour slurry. Pour the rest of the milk into a small saucepan and heat on a low heat. Add in your cornflour slurry (you may need to mix again before adding as the cornflour settles to the bottom) Stir the milk and cornflour well and don’t stop until your sauce thickens. This can take several minutes. Do not stop stirring. Do not add more cornflour. Trust the process! When your sauce is nice and thick remove from the heat.
Step 5: Build your pie!
Add your fish to an oven proof dish. Mine was approximately 8″ square. Along with this add your peas and sweetcorn, i used roughly half a tin of each or approximately 100g each. Add 4-5 sliced spring onions, 10g (half a bunch) of chives and 2 tsp of dried parsley. On top of this you can add your sauce and mix together all the ingredients well.
To top the pie, spoon on your mash and smooth over the top. Add a sprinkle of low fat grated cheddar and bake in an oven pre heated to 200c for 35-40 minutes or until the top of the pie is golden and crispy. Serve with extra fresh vegetables.
What milk can I use to make the parsley sauce?
Any milk you enjoy! Traditionally a roux of any kind either butterless or not would be made with a dairy milk probably just because that’s what has been readily available for the last few hundred years however I make my healthy fish pie with oat milk due to a dairy intolerance. I have not tried other plant based milks however I see no reason why these wouldn’t work just as well as my delicious oat milk does.
Can I reheat this dish?
Yes! A healthy fish pie will stay good in the fridge for 2-3 days. Thoroughly reheat any leftovers in the oven or microwave.
Can I freeze my fish pie?
Yes! Build your healthy fish pie as instructed above and freeze before cooking. Defrost thoroughly before cooking. Alternatively once your fish pie is cooked you can portion into microwavable containers, freeze and then reheat from frozen in the microwave for 8-10 minutes.
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