I’ve had a hankering for fish pie. I’ve been dreaming of a smoked cod dish that Mum used to make when we were kids and considering if its worth trying to recreate the memory or just create something new with what I have to hand. Turns out option B was the way to go when I had a piece of defrosted salmon left over from a previous meal and a few people popping in for dinner. I do think you need fresh fish for this dish (not canned), and it requires quite a bit of work to put together when you compare it to most other recipes that I create, so it’s not for a quick slap together dinner. Having said that, the flavours were rich and delicious and it had me dreaming of the summer months when this would go down a treat on a Sunday afternoon with a glass of Pinot Gris and a fresh crisp salad.
Salmon & Spinach Pie
- 1 box frozen spinach
- 1 leek
- 1 piece fresh salmon (approx 180g)
- 100g butter
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch ground nutmeg
- pinch dried thyme
- 1 cup grated gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup cream
- short crust pastry
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk
Defrost your spinach and squeeze out all the excess water.
Grease your baking dish (or dishes) and line with the pastry. Top with baking paper and then baking weights. I have a jar of old rice that works perfectly for this. Pre-bake your pastry for approx 15 mins in a 180c oven. Once cooked, remove from the oven, remove the baking paper and weights and set the cases to the side.
Whilst your pastry is baking, poach your salmon. To do this bring approx 2 cups of water to a simmer with the bay leaf and a small bunch of fresh thyme if you have some. Place the salmon into the saucepan and cook for approx 10 mins.
Remove the fish, but do not throw out the water. Flake the fish with a fork and allow to cool. Remove the bay leaf and thyme from the water and set the water to the side.
In a heavy based sauce pan cook off your sliced leek with half the butter until soft and starting to caramelise. Add in the spinach and cook off until there is no liquid remaining. Season with salt and pepper and set to the side.
In a large saucepan place the remaining butter and flour and stir into a paste.
Start adding the milk, stirring as you go to keep your sauce smooth and creamy. It will thicken up as it heats. Once you’ve added all the milk then add the water from poaching the salmon. Continue stirring until it starts to simmer and has thickened nicely. Remove from the heat and then add in the nutmeg, thyme, cheese, leek & spinach mix, salmon and any seasoning as required.
Spoon this mixture into the tart case and then return to the oven to bake for approx 30 mins.
Serve warm with a fresh salad.
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating,