Freezer fish pie

Seafood, spinach and cele­riac bake

The Guardian - Feast - - News -

Prep Cook Serves 20 min 1 hr 40 min 4

1 cele­riac, peeled and halved (600g net) 2½ tbsp olive oil 30g parme­san, finely grated

Salt and black pep­per

750ml whole milk ⅛ tsp ground nut­meg

600g frozen raw seafood mix, de­frosted

75g un­salted but­ter 2 leeks, trimmed, cut in half length­ways, then into 1cm pieces 3 gar­lic cloves, peeled and crushed ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

50g plain flour 100ml dry white wine 250g frozen chopped spinach, de­frosted and squeezed dry 15g each dill, pars­ley and tar­ragon leaves, all roughly chopped 15g chives, cut into 1cm lengths

2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped

1 tbsp lemon zest ¼ tsp pa­prika This uses frozen seafood and spinach to save time and ef­fort. If the seafood mix is pre-cooked, there’s no need to heat it in the milk first; just add it to the base with the other in­gre­di­ents.

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Cut one cele­riac half into 2cm x 2cm cubes and put in a bowl; cut the other into 2mm-thick half-moons (use a man­do­line) and toss in a bowl with the oil, parme­san, a quar­ter-tea­spoon of salt and a good grind of pep­per.

Pour the milk into a big saucepan for which you have a lid and bring to a gen­tle sim­mer on a medium heat. Add the nut­meg, the cubed cele­riac and a tea­spoon of salt, and cook for 10 min­utes, un­til ten­der. If your seafood mix is raw, add it now and cook for three min­utes. Put a sieve over a large jug, drain the fish and cele­riac, then set both aside.

Wipe the pan clean and re­turn to a medium heat. Add the but­ter and leeks, cover the pan, turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the leeks are soft but not coloured – about 10 min­utes.

Raise the heat to medium, add the gar­lic and chilli, and cook for a minute. Stir in the flour un­til fully mixed in – about 30 sec­onds – then slowly add the wine and re­served milk, whisk­ing as you go to avoid lumps, and cook for 10 min­utes, stir­ring of­ten, un­til thick­ened. Stir in the spinach, herbs, capers, lemon zest, seafood, half a tea­spoon of salt and a gen­er­ous grind of pep­per, and turn off the heat.

Tip the mix into a 30cm x 20cm oven dish and cover with the sliced cele­riac, over­lap­ping it to cre­ate a fish-scale ef­fect. Sprin­kle pa­prika on top, cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 min­utes. Re­move the foil and bake for 25 min­utes more, un­til the cele­riac is cooked through and the bake is bub­bling. Leave to rest for 10 min­utes, then serve.

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