Sunday night dinner is a time for comfort food. To console yourself about the weekend being over and work being only a few too-short hours of sleep away. Soup in winter and a quiet beer with the neighbours in summer. Fish Pie is the perfect comforting Sunday night fare.
My fish pie is a pretty basic version of this classic dish, with a slight twist of mixing grated courgette into the topping - just to sneak some veg in. I have used fresh bay leaves to flavour the white sauce and the result is a wonderful delicately flavoured sauce. Cooking with fresh bay leaves is a revelation if you have only ever used the dried version.
Sunday Night Fish Pie
1 x 425g tin smoked fish fillets
1 x 425g tuna (in spring water)
1 spring onion, chopped
2 courgettes - grated
1 1/2 cups mashed potato
2 handfuls chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley, fennel and chives)
3/4 cup grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
1 onion, finely chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
2 Tbsp flour
approximately 1 1/2 cups milk
4-5 Tbsp Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the eggs for 5 minutes until hard boiled then set aside to cool. Put the grated courgette on several layers of paper towels and leave for at least 20 minutes to allow the excess water to drain out (or wring the courgette in a clean tea towel).
Heat olive oil in a pot and gently sweat the onion and bay leaves until the onion is transparent (around 10 minutes). Then stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Stirring continuously, begin slowly adding milk, only adding more when the previous measure has been fully incorporated into the sauce. When you have a white sauce that is the consistency of yoghurt, season with salt and pepper and remove the bay leaves.
Drain the tins of fish fillets and spread over the bottom of a baking dish (I spread the smoked fish on the bottom and then a layer of tuna on top of it). Shell the eggs and cut into quarters, dot over the fish fillets, then sprinkle over the spring onion and a quarter of the chopped herbs. Carefully pour the white sauce over the fish, eggs and herbs, and gently shake the dish from side to side to help the sauce to fill in the gaps.
To make the topping, mix together the mashed potato, drained courgette, the rest of the herbs and a good half a cup of the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Spread this mixture over the fish and then sprinkle the remainder of cheese over the top.
Cook in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the top golden brown.
Not a great photo unfortunately, but this was the perfect Sunday night fodder served with steamed broccoli and warm fresh bread.