There’s something fishy going on…
At this time of year, the supermarket shelves are full of promotional bargains offering you ‘fat-free’ this, and ‘low-cal’ that, but do not be fooled! Often processed foods that advertise themselves as being ‘healthy’ in one respect are often a cause for concern in another. Salt and sugar are commonly the culprit, lurking in our ‘healthy’ convenience foods, and the only way to avoid these unnecessary additions is to simply buy fresh.
Rustling up a delicious dinner yourself not only allows you to avoid unsavoury additives, but by making a few simple nutritional changes means even your favourite indulgent ‘comfort’ meals are not necessarily off the menu.
Herbs, spices, zests and garlics are perfect for packing your meals full of fresh and exciting flavour, something we don’t necessarily associate with ‘healthy’ food! Making conscious changes such as swapping, cream for semi-skimmed milk, butter for vegetable spreads, and convenience foods for fresh, instantly makes for a healthier, balanced diet.
With this in mind, I looked at a what I associate with being indulgent meals (of which a lot are commonly available in a ‘convenience’ variety in the shop too), to see whether I could create an equally satisfying recipe, just minus the unnecessary indulgences! And so, my ‘Fix-up’ Fish Pie was created.
Incredibly healthy protein in the form fresh fish, with lashings of a super decadent yet, nearly fat-free sauce makes for a truly satisfying, guilt free eat! This recipe is extremely generous, so is prefect for feeding the whole family, portioning up for multiple meals, or preparing ready for your own convenience and storing in the freezer. The answer to really healthy convenience food!
- 1kg Fresh Fish
- 600ml semi-skimmed milk (plus a little extra for the mash)
- 3 generous tbsp cornflour
- 150g Low-fat cream cheese
- 1 Clove of garlic
- 1 White Onion
- 2 Leeks
- Bunch of Lemon Thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 800g Potatoes (King Edward/Maris Piper)
- 1 tbsp Low-fat/Vegetable Spread
- Salt and Pepper
- Sprinkling of grated Mature Cheddar
- Peel and roughly chop the potatoes, before placing into a large pan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for at least 20 minutes until the potato is soft. Drain and set aside.
- Whilst the potatoes are coming to the boil, roughly chop the garlic, onion and leek and sweat down in a large pan. Once soft and slightly coloured, set aside ready for the pie’s assembly.
- Pour the milk – reserving about 50ml to slacken the cornflour – into a large saucepan along with the thyme, bay, and some seasoning. Allow to reach boiling point before quickly removing from the heat and allow to infuse for at least 10 minutes.
- Once infused, remove the thyme and bay leaves by straining the milk, before returning to a clean pan along with the fillets of fish for poaching. Ensure the milk comes back up to the boil, then allow to gently simmer for 3-4 minutes. When the fish appears slightly opaque, remove from the heat and set aside and cover for around 5 minutes.
- Remove the fish from the milky liquid using a slotted spoon, before flaking into chunks into your desired oven-proof dish – do not worry if you leave a few flakes of fish behind. Mix your reserved milk with the corn flour to form a paste, then add to the infused milk. Return to a low heat and stir in the corn flour until it begins to thicken. Now add the cream cheese and season to taste, and stir in the onions and leeks.
- Mash the potatoes, along with the low-fat spread, a splash of milk and seasoning. Pour the sauce over the flaked fish before topping with the mashed potato (at this stage, your pie can be cooled and refrigerated, and kept for a day or so. Or alternatively portioned and frozen). Sprinkle over a little mature cheddar.
- Bake in the oven at 180 – 200C/gas 5-6 for 30 minutes. Serve when golden on top and bubbling at the sides.
- I used equal quantities of; Pollock, Smoked River Cobbler and Salmon