FISH PIE AND THE ROAD TRAVELLED
Finally the weather is cooling and with it the food we cook. It's been a busy time since my last post, with classes here in Perth and then travelling to country NSW to do seminars and classes. I love to travel and most often, it's with my dear friend Jeanie - we realise that we have both done more road trips together than with anyone else (family, children etc), and we've done them all around the world it seems! We road tripped from Jean's home out of Murwillumbah to Coonabarabran in Central New South Wales - abut 10 hours, for the Warrumbungle Food Festival, where I gave 2 seminars and we both did classes. Organised by the very inspirational naturopath Jen Berthet, from the Warrumbungles Holistic Health Care Centre, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people share information.
But, my goodness, it's lovely to be home - and very exciting to come back to two book parcels - April it seems is the time for new book releases - My Darling Lemon Thyme by Emma Galloway, and Tasty Express by Sneh Roy (the very aptly titled Cook Republic). Incredibly exciting, I love, love receiving books and they are both beautiful. Can't wait to take them down south with me after easter for our holiday, I am going to pour through them and start cooking! I've also been tempted by two from overseas - Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon, and the new one by a favourite of mine, Bryant Terry - Afro Vegan (sorry, I couldn't connect you to his website, I think it has been hacked !)
There's not going to be a lot of talk here today, just some photo's of what and where, and fish pie. It's the easiest thing to make, and deeply nourishing - perfect for the cooler Autumn weather. We are having it for dinner tonight, but it would be perfect for the Easter Weekend coming up. It's easy to digest and a great option for young children, or anyone with a dodgy digestive system or simply anyone looking for a delicious and deeply nourishing meal. If you're looking for a cake, why not try this Apple Shortbread (oh, it would be delicious with Rhubarb and Quince too) or this delicious Walnut and Yoghurt Cake
Have a lovely Easter weekend and I'll see you after...
|With the beautiful Jen Berthet and Jeanie|
|In Sydney with my dearest friend, Holly Davis. We had just had breakkie at the Boat House in Pittwater|
|Back home to launch Emma's beautiful, beautiful book My Darling Lemon Thyme, here with Emma and Sam|
Use a fish that is sustainable where you live – this will vary from place to place. I like to choose a some strong tasting oilier fish such as sea mullet, bonito or mackeral and something a little lighter - black bream, flathead or one of the snapper family is great also. If you can, buy the fish as a whole and ask the fishmonger to fillet it for you. Keep the skin on or off, it's up to you - it will just be a textural thing in the mouth. In the picture I've used Spanish Mackeral (skin on) and Goldband Snapper (skin off). Please, no salmon. Unless it's being flown in from the northern hemisphere, in Australia, this is all farmed - this is not the place to go looking for your very desirable long chain fatty acids, when we have plenty of high omega fish that are wild caught and not farmed. If you live in the northern hemisphere, and they are in season, go for it.
The recipe is incredibly loose and forgiving - basically, if vegetables have less water in them (onion or leek instead of spring onions), or more carbohydrate or cellulose such as carrot and celery, cook them first. Today, I lightly cooked some leek from the garden, finely sliced celery, fine diced carrot in good dollop of ghee and a sprinkle of sea salt. Added that to the baking dish, then sprinkled roughly chopped garlic chives and lemon thyme. And, honestly? I don't even bother weighing the fish, I just decide how much I'd like in the dish.
2 - 3 medium potatoes, well scrubbed and cut into 2 – 3 cm dice
100 or so gm broccoli – roughly cut
sea salt to taste
1 generous tablespoon butter or ghee
1 - 2 extra tablespoons butter or ghee
2 stems spring onions, roughly chopped or 1 small onion finely diced (I used leek today)
2 tablespoons fresh herbs – lemon thyme, parsley or basil
grated zest of 1 small lemon and generous juice
Vegetables – you can read above what I used, with corn in season, that would make a lovely addition too. English Spinach and Silverbeet (Chard) can be added straight to the dish, but some of the kales might need a little cook with the root vegetables to help break down their strong cellulose structure.
4 – 6 tablespoons cultured or sour cream (be generous)
1 teaspoon seed mustard
pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
300 gm fish, checked over for bones and roughly cut into 3 cm chunks
Pre heat oven 190c
Steam the potatoes and when nearly ready, add the broccoli and cook until the broccoli is just soft. Take care not to overcook and dull the colour of the broccoli. Add 1 generous tablespoon butter, salt to taste or ghee and roughly mash. Set aside.
Choose a shallow, ovenproof dish.
Melt the remaining butter or ghee in a small saucepan and if using onion or leek, add this and cook over a gentle heat until soft. If using spring onion, just throw it in let it soften for a minute or so. Add any root vegetables to cook for a few minutes until soft, and if using kale, give that a little go in the frying pan also.
Add your vegetables of choice to the baking dish and if using English Spinach, add that now too. Top with the chunks of fish. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the lemon zest, juice, cream and mustard t0 the warm frying pan. Stir through gently - the cream will ‘melt’ and relax. Spoon the mix over the fish and vegetables (and if you have more sour cream, go ahead and use it - make sure the fish is well covered) and top with the mashed potato.
Place in the oven and cook for approx 20 mins or until the top is lightly golden and the juices are bubbling. I like to serve this with greens - I'm serving this with green beans from the garden tonight.