Traditional Fish Pie

Friday, 15 November 2013

Since I have children I always keep a camera no more than a metre far away from me. I can easily take more than 2000 pictures per year (now they still allow me) and then I normally produce an annual digital album. Yes, I'm a nightmare.

There are pictures from our holidays, birthdays and special events. But there are also pictures of mundane things like family lunches, cooking, bath time, playground, etc. And yes, also this kind of pictures our parents take deliberately to make us feel completely embarrassed in the future. Lots of them.

I'm not able to say what is the first memory I keep from my childhood. I have some flashes but can't really say whether they are genuine or are just reconstructions from photos or anecdotes someone told me.
For example, when I speak with my mum about things we remember is so odd how she doesn't remember at all some of the most important memories that marked a milestone in my life. Or how we remember the same event in two completely different ways. It’s so weird how our memories are made up. 

I have always heard that our mind is wise and makes us easily forget the bad things and encourage us to remember the nice ones. But sometimes our human being makes us keep some of those not really nice memories just for survival purposes.
For example, I can clearly remember the first time my mum gave me for lunch a liver fillet. How clever my mind was to make me remember this piece of uneatable sole in my mouth, otherwise my destiny would have been uncertain for sure.
My kids often ask me to pick one of the albums and tell them stories about our own life: how they were born, how they looked like when they were babies, where they were before born, if we have ever been babies. And I love to tell them time and time again how they were loved even before they arrived, how their tiny hands were, how a bald baby my big one was before this amazing curly hair grew up. 
So I hope all this pictures will contribute to make them keep some good memories of their childhood, and to remember how a happy boys they were. Exactly the same than those pictures my parents took from me, now help me to remember some moments otherwise I would forget for sure.

 (Yes, that's me!)
This week’s recipe is again a traditional British dish that has become one of my household favourites. I'm sure I'll be cooking it for years as it's creamy inside, crunchy on the top and simply delicious all the way through.

500 gr Fish chunks: salmon, cod and smoked haddock. Or any other fish you like.
300 gr Cabbage (this time I've used a variety called Pak Choi)
250 gr Grated cheese 
Some fresh lemon-grass leaves
3 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil
1 Lemon

For the white sauce or bechamel

600 ml  semi-skimmed milk
60 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
60 g Plain flour
1 Pinch of grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

1 jar of Spanish Pisto Preserve

Heat the oven to 180 °C.

Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the fish and the lemon-grass and stir fry. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the cabbage in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and keep warm. 

Mix the fish with the cabbage and put the mixture in an oven-proof dish. 

Meanwhile, for the white sauce, pour the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat and warm it up a little bit. Stir in the flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. TRICK: don´t let the flour to get brown. Whisk in a little of the milk at a time, stirring continuously until you have a smooth, slightly thick sauce. Remove from the heat. Finally add the Spanish Pisto pot and give a final stir with an electric mixer. It will give the sauce a delicious flavour and a delicate brown colour.

Pour the sauce all over the fish mixture and then sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Put in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Cut the lemon in 4 slices and squeeze all over the fish pie to taste.

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