This was originally supposed to be smoked haddock and prawn pie, but Marks & Spencer’s, my only source of haddock was out of stock. However, there were remains of the great prawn harvest of my much better half in the freezer, about 500g and 400g of calamari, squid and mussels which were duly marinated in lemon, garlic, salt and pepper for a few hours.
To prepare the dish, a finely chopped leek is lightly fried in about 2 tablespoons of butter until the rings are translucent on to which is poured about 50g of thick cream and a desert spoon of flour, a heaped teaspoon of paprika, the juice of one lemon, a heaped teaspoon of grainy Dijon mustard, a handful of herbs, sea salt and pepper all of which is stirred while adding milk bit by bit to bulk out the sauce and to keep the consistency silky. One can be generous with the milk, as when the pie is in the oven, the flour will of course thicken the mixture. This may be left to bubble while the potatoes are boiled and then drained for mashing. As the seafood base is very creamy, the potato is mashed with a generous amount of butter, salt and pepper and only the slightest amount of milk, as we need the topping to form a firm crust.
Once the potato is ready, turn off the heat of the sauce and thoroughly mix in the seafood before spooning into your oven dish, mixing in a good couple of teaspoons of capers. Spoon in the mash and sprinkle some breadcrumbs to make a good crust.
Place uncovered in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes at just below the 200F mark and grill for about 5 minutes or less to give the crust an even golden glow. Garnish with dill and enjoy.
Prep time about 10 minutes, excluding marinating time. Cooking, about 40 minutes.
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