Thursday, 10 September 2009

Fishy Business

As I pull open my curtains in the mornings, I am met by yellows, oranges, browns and faded greens, all rustling in the chilly wind as I walk to work. The evenings are drawing to a close earlier each day and once again I find myself searching for meals to warm me from the inside out.

Meaty, rich red burgers with chunky oven crisped chips. Fat, round and glossy brown sausages on a bed of creamy mash smothered in a luxurious onion gravy. Silky smooth and flavourful broad bean and butternut risotto, is to name but a few dishes that regularly make it onto our dinner plates. There is however something that does not make its appearance on our plates often enough and that is fish. I am not the world's greatest lover of fish. Sea-food I simply adore, but when I am faced with a pink, raw piece of salmon or a whole sea bass, I very quickly turn up my nose. This is once again my childhood fussiness making me prejudice to something that is both extremely good for me and actually truly delicious.

Yet again determined to change my own mindset toward another one of my food dislikes, I have tried and tested several ways of cooking all sorts of fish. Obviously, coating a piece of white fish in a bubbly batter and deep frying it, is one of the easiest ways to disguise the taste of the fish, but is by no means a healthy plate of food. Grilling salmon fillets and serving it with lemony veggies is a much healthier option and I will every so often prepare and eat this meal, but it still wasn't the answer. Then, very unexpectedly and thanks to another request from Paul, the answer came to me, fish pie!

The perfect combination of oily, white and smoked fish, all delicately poached in a milky fish stock. Then smothered in a rich and creamy white sauce, dotted with pink prawns and green peas and covered with fluffy mash and strong cheddar gratin. This was exactly what I was looking for, and exactly what I prepared when another chilly evening pushed me into the warmth of the kitchen. Taking the bubbling pie dish from the oven, my mouth was already watering for a bite. Happiness :)

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