Freezer fish pie
Seafood, spinach and celeriac bake
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.