I rarely cook, even within the demands of the busy restaurant kitchen, without the food I’m cooking reminding me of something.
It might be that I remember a herb I’m using also being used in another recipe or a familiar smell might get me thinking about a person or an occasion that I enjoyed with other people. I think most people who enjoy cooking or good food can relate to the talking points that food can create.
This week’s recipes are based on my thoughts of times with people close to me. Thursday March 6th would have been my brother Jim’s 55th birthday. The recipes I’ve chosen this week are two which I learned from him. I still remember him showing me how to make this fish pie in the kitchen. The big emphasis for him was cooking the fish in the milk first and then using the milk to make the sauce. No matter how many nice fish pie recipes I come across, or how many times I vary the fish, I always cook fish pie in this way. The milk, infused with the bay leaf and cooked with the fish, really adds to the flavour of the sauce.
The cookies have become a family favourite in my house. They are quick and easy to make and will keep any little helpers you may have busy for a little while. The recipe can be varied to include fruit or chocolate or whatever your favourite ingredients are.
Jim’s Fish Pie
2lb White Fish
8oz Smoked Haddock
8oz Cooked Prawns
2/3 Bay Leaves
2tbsp. chopped Parsley
1 small Onion
About 4 lb. Potatoes cooked and mashed with 2oz butter and 3 tbsp. of milk. Seasoned with salt & pepper.
You can put the potatoes on to boil when you are staring this dish.
To make the fish pie, place the white fish and haddock in a saucepan with the chopped onions and the milk with the bay leafs, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove the fish from the milk and place in a pie dish. Leave the milk on the heat with the bay leafs & onion to infuse a bit more. In a clean saucepan melt the butter and stir in the flour to form a roux, then strain the milk into a bowl and whisk it slowly on to the butter & flour roux, keep whisking until all the milk is in then add chopped parsley. If the sauce is too thick whisk in some more milk, you need a nice pouring consistency. Pour the sauce over the fish, sprinkle in the cooked prawns, then spread the mashed potato over the fish, you can sprinkle on some grated cheese if you wish. Parmesan would be good. Place in a hot oven 180º for 45 minutes until nice and brown.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
8oz Castor Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
8oz Plain Flour
1 level tsp. Baking Powder
6oz. Mixed Chocolate Drops, ½ Milk, ½ Plain
Cream the butter & sugar together, then add in the egg yolk, sieve in the flour and baking powder then mix in the chocolate drops. Shape into a cylinder and wrap in cling film, place in the fridge for about 1 hour. When you are ready to cook, heat the oven to 170°, cut the cookie dough into slices and place on a lined baking sheet, cook for 15 to 20 minutes.