Wednesday, December 10, 2003

On the way home from work last night I got this strange urge to eat fish pie, and not the yacky mashed potato kind. I’ve never in my life cooked a fish pie, but how hard can it be? Reckoning I could wing it I diverted to Waitrose and bought:-

1k plain white flour
250g unsalted butter
250g lard
2x large cod fillets
200g tiger prawns
2lb potatoes
1lb leeks
1L full fat milk
6 x roys (eggs)
1 x packet sliced tongue (‘nibble while you cook’ treat)


8.15 Arrive home from Waitrose – consider just eating a sandwich instead
8.20 Arse around a bit
8.25 Start making pastry – 500g flour, ~90g butter ~90 lard, dash of salt, iced water.
8.30 Alan Titchmarsh’s Royal Gardens comes on the telly but hands too floury / buttery to pick up remote control.
8.40 Chop up medium onion v. fine – start frying in olive oil. Add 1 x fine chopped chile.
8.45 Have momentary blackout listening to Alan talking about Queen Victoria’s kids’ gardening tools. Finish making pastry – wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate.
8.55 Add white wine vinegar, cook off, add water, deglaze pan, add 2 x garlic cloves, season. Flatmate1 replaces Alan with Buffy S2 – ‘Bad Eggs’. Praise Lord.
9.00. Cut up cod into 1” chunks. Add to pan w more olive oil. Pre-heat oven – gas mark 6
9.05 Roll out half+ of the pastry. Realise you’ve eaten all the tongue – 5 slices.
9.10 Line 12” dish with pastry – put in oven. Add handful cherry tomatoes to pan + dash tobasco.
9.15 Add prawns to pan. Decide against making potatoes as well. Feel happier.
9.20 Take out blind baked pasty, set pan aside.
9.25 Melt large knob (fnar) of butter in new pan for roux sauce.
9.30 Add flour until thickens to a paste – add milk
9.35 Realise added too much milk too fast – has gone lumpy – stir like a bastard. Add more flour – leave to thicken on absolute minimum heat. Keep stirring.
9.40 Roll out remaining pastry. Put fish & prawn mixture in pasty case.
9.45 Pour roux sauce over fish – mix together. Apply pastry lid, pierce, glaze with egg yolk.
9.50 Bung back in oven – still at gas mark 6. Ditch the leeks.
10.15 Talk to your Mother on the phone. Tell her about the pie. Realise you’re sick of the pie, and not even slightly hungry anymore. She tells you the pie will give you indigestion. Silently agree.
10.30 Take out delicious, browned, hot pie.
10.35 Fm1 & self sample pie. It is fantastic – fishy, creamy, slightly spicy middle, crisp dry buttery pastry. Both have large helping. Have second helping. Eat so much pie you feel like an over-inflated pie addicted zeppelin. Pie still less than half eaten!
2am, 4am & 6am Wake up with nuclear level indigestion. Curse pie.
8am Leave note for Fm2 : "I'll be out this evening, so please help yourself to pie - in the fridge."

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