This past week has been pretty grey and depressing in Montreal and it’s really starting to take its toll on me. I’m super slow, feel heavy as hell and am tired like I rarely am. I need some sun in my life, and I need it soon! In the meantime I’m still stuck on fall recipes (even though were in spring!) and this is one that totally surprised me.
A few days ago I felt like eating fish but wanted to change things a bit. I feel like I always prepare my fish the same way and wanted to try something new, something that I would usually not do. So I found this Jamie Oliver recipe that struck me as very interesting: a one-dish mish-mash of fish and veggies. What could go wrong with that? So I gathered up my ingredients and got ready to tackle the recipe. But once I started preparing it, I realized how strange the steps and the ingredients felt to me; I was completely perturbed with what I was preparing. Still, I finished the dish and got dinner ready. When I served the fish dish to my family, I felt so bad I forewarned them that what I was serving them was probably not be the greatest dinner of all times. I even whispered to my husband that if the kids didn’t like dinner, I was ready to not insist on them eating the darn thing and was willing to offer an alternate choice to them. That’s how peculiar I felt my dish was. Yet again it was a Jamie Oliver’s recipe and he’s usually a pretty cool dude with pretty cool recipes… Right?
To my surprise, everyone ate my dish! My husband had to ask for a third serving and even gave it a 9.5 on 10 score (I like to get my dishes scored so I know exactly how people feel about them!). So there you have it. Sometimes the weirdest dishes with the strangest combinations of ingredients come out to be great successes. Which is why I love the saying: don’t judge a book by its cover. This dish is pretty much like a fish Sheppard’s pie and it was absolutely lovely! Oliver says to eat it with ketchup (must be a Britt’s habit)… my kids did, that was just stretching it a little too far for me so I didn’t... You decide how you feel about that! Oh yeah, I was a little bit of a rebel and didn't put the potatoes on top but at the bottom (I really didn't get what was happening while I was making this!!!)... I think Jamie's idea of the potatoes on top might've made my dish a little prettier. You decide. Cheers!
Jamie Oliver's Fantastic Fish Pie Makes 6 to 8 servings – Preparation: about 30 minutes - Level: GROWN UP
5 large potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch squares
Salt and pepper
2 large eggs
2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Extra virgin oil
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
2 good handfuls of Parmesan cheese or grated sharp cheddar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp of English mustard
1 large handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 lb haddock or cod fillet, skin removed and sliced into strips
Fresh nutmeg (optional)
Preheat your oven at 450˚F.
Put the potatoes into salted boiling water and bring back to a boil for 2 minutes. Carefully add the eggs to the pan and cook for a further 8 minutes, until hard-boiled, by which time the potatoes should also be cooked. At the same time, steam the spinach in a colander above the pan. This will take only a minute. When the spinach is done, remove from the colander and gently squeeze out any excess moisture. Then drain the potatoes in the colander. Remove the eggs, cool under water, peel and quarter them. Place on the side.
In a separate pan slowly fry the onion and carrot in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes, then add the cream and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the cheese, lemon juice, mustard and parsley. Put the spinach, fish and eggs into and appropriately sized earthenware dish and mix together, pouring over the creamy vegetable sauce.
The cooked potatoes should be drained and mashed – add a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and a touch of grated nutmeg if you like. Spread on top of the fish.
Place in the oven for about 25 minutes until the potatoes are golden. Serve with some ketchup if you like.