FISH AND PIE
It was 14 years ago Christian Kasper made what he describes as the best decision of his life . . . he moved to Dunedin. “It has the hustle and bustle of any major city in the world but also the romantic vibe of a small town in Southern France.”
Kasper loves Dunedin almost as much as he loves food. “I’ve always been a foodie,” he says, pointing to a photo of a rather chubby kid as proof.
Delicious Dunedin is the brainchild of Kasper and two other mates.
“It all started with an idea to create a cookbook about the city,” he says. “It’s restaurants, cafes, and people.”
The book is a hard one to put down. If you are planning on skipping through it over a cuppa, do understand you will be engrossed for hours . . . and hours.
The Plato restaurant features in Delicious Dunedin. Nigel Broad says of the restaurant: “We’ve been here for so long and I guess we’ve really become part of the Dunedin food scene. We’re right by the harbour and our speciality is fresh fish. Everything is locally sourced and now we make our own beer too.”
Following is a Plato recipe:
PLATO FISH PIE
There’s nothing better than fresh fish and a pie — we’ve combined the two in our plated fish pie, one of the most popular items on our menu. — Nigel Broad
Prep: 40 minutes | Cook: 30 minutes |
Serves 4 generously | Skill level: Medium
■ 500g Agria (or similar) potatoes, peeled
■ 75g butter
■ 70ml cream
■ 1 tsp wholegrain mustard (optional)
■ Salt and pepper
■ 6 Tbsp butter
■ 150g bacon, chopped
■ 1⁄2 leek (whites and/or greens), finely sliced
■ 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
■ 6 Tbsp flour
■ 4 cups vegetable or fish stock, hot
■ salt and pepper
■ 700-800g white fish fillets (any white fish, including cheaper cuts such as hoki, elephant fish, and ling)
■ 250g frozen peas
■ 200g smoked fish, broken into pieces
■ 200g smoked cheese or cheddar,
■ grated (optional)
■ salt and pepper
■ Butter or oil for greasing
■ lemon wedges
■ green salad
■ fresh bread
Mash: Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain, place back in pot with the butter, cream and mustard, and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until needed.
Veloute´ sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat. Add bacon, leek and mustard and cook for about 10 minutes until leeks and bacon are soft but not coloured or crisp. Add flour and cook, stirring continuously for around 3 minutes so no lumps remain and flour has cooked.
Add a splash of stock and stir well to combine, scraping solids from the pan. Gradually stir in remaining stock in parts, then simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble: Preheat oven to 180C and grease one large or four individual ovenproof dishes or skillets. Place whole fish fillets in the prepared dish (divide evenly if using individual dishes) and bake for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and top fish with peas and smoked fish. Cover with veloute´ sauce then a layer of cheese. Spoon the mash on top. Bake for around 20 minutes until sauce is bubbling and starting to caramelise at the edge of pan.
Serve hot with lemon wedges and salad, and bread to mop up the sauce.
Nigel Broad from Plato.