Creamy Fish & Leak Mini Pies

Friday, 17 April 2015

Last weekend the weather was so absolutely amazing that everyone in my household woke up thinking it was summer. And as it was summer, we packed our lunches, dusted off our swimsuits, and off we went to Exmouth beach. Two miles of golden sandy beach just 20 minutes’ drive from home.

The beach was not jam-packed, but busy enough to make us feel really summery. Rock pools, crab hunters, shiny skins, sand castles and lots of children.

If anything in life changes after having children is the way you get ready for a beach day.

I remember in my pre-kids life when all I needed was me, a towel and a good book. These days have gone now, and I can tell you from experience how easy it is to guess who does and who doesn’t have kids on a beach.  And the kids don’t need to be anywhere near the parents for me to be able to tell if they have them or not.

When you don’t have children, your towel remains immaculate and ready for you to lie on and have a nap, tucked in by the sound of the waves and the sea breeze. You would never feel scared of seagulls attacking you or dogs running too fast. Your bag will be sand free and your cooler will keep cooling down your drink until you decide you fancy it.

People with kids need to rent a freight truck when planning a day in the beach. Umbrellas, windbreak, spades, buckets, rakes, plastic things shaped like sea horses and stars, water wings, rubber rings, hats, paddling pools, boogie boards, towels, swim nappies, change clothes, 8 varieties of sunscreen from extra protection to reinforced concrete, water bottles, biscuits, fruit, sandwiches, wipes, another change of clothes (just in case), and a massive blanket able to fit a rugby team.

People without kids have a towel, an mp3 player and a book.

When you have kids your cooler is filled with apple juice, ham sandwiches, carrot batons, crisps, bananas, grapes, cookies, raisins, crackers, yoghurt sticks, muesli bars, cheese, apples, and pretty much all you’ve been able to wedge in. 

Any time is a great time to go to the beach when you don’t have kids. When you have them, anything after 9.30 will mean walking miles and miles until you find a space big enough for all your stuff, close to the sea but not too far from the toilets and definitely not anywhere near a seagull. 

By the time you set up your camp, covered every children with tons of sun cream, put swimsuits on, argued about why they have to wear a hat, established the boundaries of where they can and can’t go, what to do if they got lost and why is not a good idea to drink sea water, you feel so tired that all you want to do is to sit down, grab a beer and watch the waves. But not before building a sand castle, putting some more sun cream on, run to pick up that kid who has fallen headfirst into the sand, burn your feet, stubbed your little toe on that massive pebble that you didn’t see, calm a crying kid, getting them a snack, making sure they are drinking plenty of water, add some more sun cream, find their hats 2 miles away fully covered in wet sand and argue about why they must not take them off again otherwise you will get very cross and we will never ever come back to the beach again.

When the time to leave the beach comes, people with kids would normally need around 40 minutes to pack up while their children are hitting each other, taking advantage of that very moment when you have lose sight of them to roll in the sand with their dry clothes, chasing an angry seagull, putting sand in your clean clothes bag, or fighting for the last biscuit. They will head off the beach to the car park, looking jealousy at the groups of people enjoying the sunset with a cold beer in their hands, feeling absolutely exhausted with a bunch of tired children crying, yelling, moaning – all at the same time. 

When people without kids decide to leave the beach, they just shake their towels, stretch their arms and go back home for  12 hours’ sleep.

This week’s recipe goes to those all loving parents who take their kids to the beach. You can prepare it in advance and eat with a king size white wine glass once the kids are finally in bed, the washing machine is on and you are still covered in sand and sun cream.


100gr Fresh Cod
100gr Fresh Salmon
50gr Smoked Cod
3 Leeks
300ml Double Cream
2 Puff Pastry Rolls
1 Egg
Salt & Pepper to taste
A pinch of nutmeg
1 Cup White Wine
1tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A Bunch of Fresh Parsley


Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan. Chop the leaks and gently fry. When golden brown, add the fish and cook on a medium heat until soft. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and parsley. Add the cream and cook, stirring for around 10 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease a cupcake tin. Unroll the puff pastry and cut circles both big enough to line the cupcake tins and small enough to top the pies. Put a larger circle in each cupcake hole and fill with the fish mixture.

Put a smaller circle of puff pastry on top and seal the edges. Cut small figures or words out of the remaining pastry (such as little fishes, hearts, etc.) and decorate your pies. Beat the egg and brush each pastry. Bake for 15 minutes.

These fish pies can be eaten warm or cold. 


  1. LOL!! That same conversation we had the other day with other parents.
    I still carry the book....just in case...and never open it

  2. I can't be bothered any more to bring a book to the beach... is just carnying weight for nothing!!


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