Archive for the 'Fish and seafood' Category

Laughably easy fish pie

February 3, 2011

My sister Fiona has been going on and on about her spectacular fish pie for as long as I can remember. It’s a winter meal apparently so it wasn’t on the cards until winter kicked in. Well Missy it’s February now and still no fish pie…..what’s going on! On my recent quest for Freezer Friendly meals I decided to live on the edge and make my very own fish pies. It can’t be that hard to make! So with a little bit of online research I got the general idea and gave it a bash. The pie has now been sampled and given the big thumbs up from Eilidh (the recipient of all the freezer meals). She actually admitted to having a Harry Met Sally style “moaning” session in her flat while sampling the first one. Go Eilidh!! What will the neighbors thinks….

Ingredients (makes 8 individual pies or one huge one)

2 leeks
200 grams Butter
Salt and Pepper
1 ltr Whole Milk
100 ml cream (optional for mash)
100 gram fresh parmesan finely grated
2 tbsp plain flour
Dijon mustard
300 grams undyed smoked haddock fillet (or similar white fish)
300 grams haddock fillet
300 grams salmon fillet (or trout)
2 kg potatoes (I used Maris Piper)
150 grams of baby frozen peas


Peel and boil potatoes.

Finely slice the leeks and rinse to remove any grit. Saute in a heavy based pan on a low heat with a large knob of butter (50g). Saute until soft and sweet – this is called a fondue.

Make white sauce buy melting 60 grams of butter in a pan. Mix in the flour and slowly add the milk until sauce thickens and all milk has been incorporated. Make sure you stir constantly and honestly add the milk little by little if you don’t you are going to end up with a really lump sauce. Add a heaped spoon of Dijon mustard and finely grated parmesan. Stir in the leeks, frozen peas and some finely chopped parsley and dill (approx small bunch of parsley and 1/2 small bunch of dill). Season well with Salt and Pepper (make sure you taste it). Leave to the side to cool.

Cut the fish into bite size pieces 2 cm cubes, stir through the cooled sauce.

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain well and mash. Stir in the rest of the butter and if the potatoes are floury and a bit dry you can add some milk or cream. Season well with salt and pepper – again make sure you taste it.

I used individual single serve foil containers for freezing but you could use ceramic or pyrex dishes. Put the fish and sauce mix in the bottom and top with mash.

And that is it!

To cook the individual portions pop in the oven at 180 degrees (or 170 in a fan assisted oven) for 35 – 40 minutes – until cooked through. You will need to cook it for a little longer if it is one “mega” pie.

If you do freeze the pie make sure it is fully defrosted before you bake it in the oven – I don’t recommend that you microwave it to defrost.

So Fiona I don’t need you to make me a pie anymore – I can make it myself!! Tee Hee.


Whole grilled rainbow trout with flavoured butter

June 3, 2010

Grilled trout with flavoured butter

I know that fish bones are a right pain in the ass BUT it is definitely worth cooking fish whole as the flavour is so much better.

The other day I popped into “Something Fishy” on Broughton Street to buy some fish and 2 beautiful whole trout caught my eye. They were super fresh with their eyes glistening apparently they had arrived in that morning.


I decided to grill them, namely because Euan (my brother-in-law) has still not arranged for the oven to be fixed!!!

When cooking fish I like to get a nice crisp skin and grilling fish helps crisp the skin up.


2 whole trout (1 per person)
Unsalted butter (softened)
Fresh Thyme (approx 1 tablespoon of leaves)
Handful of flat leaf parsley
Chili flakes (optional)
Maldon’s sea salt
Zest of 1 small unwaxed lemon (keep lemon)
Olive oil

Lemon zest and chopped Thyme

Finely chop thyme and parsley leaves and add to mortar and pestle with lemon zest, a large pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper.

Bash in mortar and pestle until oils are released from the leaves and the lemon. Add 2 table spoons of butter and mix through with 1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes.

Flavoured butter

Wash fish to remove any blood in cavity. Dry with kitchen towel and place on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and brushed with a little olive oil.

Score flesh diagonally making sure not to cut through bones.


Rub some of the butter into the slits and smear some into the cavity.


Cut rings of lemon and also place inside the cavity.

Drizzle with olive oil.

Heat grill to high and once hot pop fish under grill for approx 5 – 8 mins (this totally depends on how big your fish is and how hot your grill is). I would check after 5 mins and see if the flesh on that side is cooked. Once it is cooked flip the fish over and cook the other side.

Grilled trout with flavoured butter

Serve with baby waxy boiled or steamed potatoes and some steamed broccoli with toasted almonds.

Make sure you spoon over the buttery sauce from the baking tray as this is absolutely delish. I served mine with the addition of salsa verdi (see recipe).

Grilled trout jersey royals broccoli and toasted almonds


By the way flavoured butter is fantastic on grilled meat, chicken fish, roast veg etc etc. You can add pretty much any herb, rosemary, parsley, basil. Garlic is great on meat, chicken and veg (not the best on fish it is a bit too overpowering). You can also add spices too. Pop a bit of rosemary, garlic and thyme butter onto of lamp chops or cutlets and grill. Fantastic!

Smoked haddock fish cakes (and a veggie version for my dad)

May 10, 2010

The other day my mum turned up with some smoked haddock. As you do.

I really am branching out at the moment with traditional Scottish ingredients!!

It’s a little weird for a foodie like myself to say that I have little to no cooking experience with smoked haddock but that is the case.

Actually up until last week I had no cooking experience with it. I made a damn fine Kedgeree (well pretty bloody good for a first attempt).

So when another batch of smoked haddock came along I thought I would try something different.

A little “smoked haddock” search on the BBC Food website turned up a million and one Kedgeree recipes, a couple of fish pies, a chowder or two and fish cakes!!

So I decided on the fish cakes. In typical me style I ran my eye over the web recipe and decided to make up my own recipe with what was available in the fridge.


3 smoked haddock fillets (undyed)
1 medium brown onion
3 large potatoes
1 egg
Parmesan (Padano or Reggiano)
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
1/3 cup wild garlic finely sliced
Zest of 1/4 lemon
Salt and Pepper
2 Bay leaves
Pin oat meal or bread crumbs

Peel potatoes and cut into cubes, steam until cooked through. Roughly mash and leave to cook.

Put smoked haddock in pan with bay leaves and cover with milk, slowly bring to a simmer and cook for 4 min. Remove from heat, remove fillets from milk and leave to cool. Once cool roughly flake removing any bones and skin.

Finely slice onion and fry with a little oil and pinch of salt until soft, sweet and a little colour (not brown).

Pop potato, haddock, parsley, wild garlic, about 3 tablespoons of finely grated parmesan, 1 egg, fried onion, lemon zest into a bowl and season to taste.

Refrigerate for about 30 mins to an hour. Mixture should be stiff.

Form approx 8 fish cakes and roll in oatmeal.

Refrigerate again for 30 mins.

Shallow fry until golden brown.

Serve hot – if you are making a larger batch you can place them in the oven to keep warm.

I served mine on a bed of baby spinach with crumbled feta, with a fried egg on top and a wedge of lemon.


For the veggie version I replaced the fish with grated courgette and crumbled feta. To make sure the mixture was not too wet I grated the courgette, placed it in a colander and sprinkled a little salt on top. I left it for about 20 mins then squeezed out the excess liquid. (Salt draws out the water from the courgette).

Left overs:

I had a bit of the fish cake mixture left over the next day so I dropped teaspoonfuls of the mixture into hot fat (deep-frying) until they were golden brown. I drained them on a bit of kitchen paper then served them piping hot with a big dollop of home-made garlic aioli – super easy to make (see recipe).

Yummy – this is making me hungry.