This is the real deal. Proper cold smoked hake that my favourite Cape Town fishmonger Julie Carter of Ocean Jewels Fresh Fish now supplies. There are a lot of things you can make with properly smoked hake, but for me, fish pie is the absolute best thing.
- 5 large spuds peeled and diced (about 3 cm)
- 500 gm smoked haddock sliced into strips and then chopped into biggish chunks. You could use any nice firm white fish – cod, hake, kingklip etc. I think salmon could also work – or a mix of salmon and white fish.
- salt and pepper
- 1 carrot chopped / diced or even easier, grated
- 1 - 2 celery stalks finely chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 free range eggs (leave out if you don't like)
- 2 handfuls spinach (I used 1 x 200gms packet of baby spinach)
- 1 brown onion finely chopped
- 250ml cream (recipe says 285ml double cream but I like reduced fat cream)
- 2 good handfuls grated parmesan or cheddar cheese (I used a local and delicious parmesan style cheese)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 heaped tsp english mustard (I used 2 teaspoons Dijon)
- 1 large handful flat leafed parsley, finely chopped
- nutmeg (optional) - I added the nutmeg to my mash
- pre heat oven to 220 degrees c.
- Chop all the things, juice the lemon and got everything ready to cook.
- Boil the potatoes in salted water for a couple of minutes and add the 2 eggs and set timer for 8 minutes and add to the spuds.
- Remove the eggs when ready and cool, peel and cut into quarters.
- Place a colander or sieve over the boiling potatoes and empty the spinach in, put the lid on and steam for about 2 minutes. Remove and drain.
- When the spuds are cooked drain in the colander
- In a separate pan, fry the onion, celery and carrot for about 5 minutes in the olive oil then add the cream and bring to the boil.
- Remove from the heat, add the cheese, lemon juice, parsley and mustard - stir.
- Mix the spinach (which you have squeezed and chopped up), the chopped up fish and egg into the cream mixture and then empty into an appropriately sized oven dish
- Mash up the potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil (or butter), salt and pepper and a few gratings of nutmeg and then lightly spread over the fish pie using a fork (you could drizzle a bit more oil or melted butter over the top to get a browner finish), or sprinkle over some more cheese if you really wanted to be decadent and get some more crunch, but do this10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- Bake for about 25 - 30 mins - until golden
- I recommends serving this pie with baked beans in tomato sauce and I wholeheartedly agree. That and a salad or my warm zesty green beans.