|Mini spicy fish pies are served with carrots, parsnips and peas|
A traditional British fish pie is usually a combination of different types of fish in a bechemel sauce, topped with mashed potato. While I love fish pies of that type, I wanted here to create something a little bit different with the second freshly caught whiting I had been kindly given. I began therefore by having a look through my cupboards and when I came across a small can of tomatoes and the remainder of the Mexican fajitas spice which I used to prepare the steak bridie I featured on this blog last week, the beginnings of this idea were formed.
|Starting to prepare spicy sauce for fish pie|
Ingredients (Serves Two)
8 ounce can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
Handful of mixed sliced bell peppers (capsicums)
1 teaspoon fajitas spice mix
2 medium whiting fillets, skinned
1/2 pound premade puff pastry
Flour for dusting rolling surface and pin
Butter for greasing ramekins plus extra for cooked carrots and parsnips
Beaten egg for glazing
2 medium carrots
2 medium parsnips
3 or 4 tablespoons frozen peas
Generous pinch ground nutmeg
|Chopped whiting is added to spicy tomato sauce|
Pour the tomatoes in to a small to medium saucepan and add the pepper slices and fajitas spice. Stir well and heat until the mixture reaches a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer as gently as possible for ten to fifteen minutes - stirring frequently - until a lush, thick sauce is formed.
|Whiting in spicy sauce is left to cool completely|
Roughly chop the whiting fillets and stir carefully through the sauce. Cover and leave to cool completely.
|Buying premade puff pastry is much quicker and easier than making your own|
Start your oven preheating to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
Although this pastry will make four small pies, I cut it in half and cut the pie cases and lids two at a time. I just feel it makes it easier. In order to get the right size of circles, you will need to measure your ramekins and find appropriate "templates" in your kitchen supplies. I found this bowl was ideal for cutting cases that allowed a bit of an overhang all the way around the edges for crimping.
|Cutting the cases for the spicy whiting fish pieces|
In a similar way, this drinking glass was the perfect size for cutting lids.
|Cutting the lids for the pies|
The ramekins should be carefully and evenly greased inside with butter.
|Ramekins are greased with butter before the pies are assembled|
Carefully place a case circle in to each ramekin. Take your time and ensure it fits snugly, with an even overhang all the way around.
|Pie cases are carefully fitted in to ramekins|
Take a teaspoon and add some of the cooled spicy whiting mix to the ramekins but do not overfill (see below).
|Spicy whiting mix is spooned in to pies|
Sit the lids on top and lightly eggwash.
|Lids are added to filled pie cases|
Crimp the edges and eggwash the crimps. Cut a small vent in the centre of each pie with the point of a sharp knife and sit the ramekins on a roasting tray.
|Pies are crimped, glazed and ready for the oven|
Cook the pies in the oven for thirty to thrity-five minutes until golden. Leave them on the tray for a few minutes to cool slightly.
|Spicy whiting fish pies removed from the oven|
Scrub, top and tail the carrots and parsnips. You could peel them if you wish but I didn't. The skin contains texture and vitamins. Roughly chop to evenly sized pieces and add to a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a simmer for about fifteen minutes or until just softened.
|Chopped carrots and parsnips ready for boiling|
Use oven gloves/mitts and carefully tip the pies out of the ramekins, loosening them around the edges with a blunt knife if necessary. Sit them on a wire rack to rest. They will stay warm while your vegetables cook.
|Spicy whiting fish pies are rested on a wire rack|
The frozen peas should be added to a pot of boiling water for two or three minutes.
|Frozen peas are added to boiling water|
Drain the carrots and parsnips well and return to the empty pot. Add some butter and the nutmeg and stir carefully to ensure even coating.
|Butter and nutmeg is added to drained parsnips and carrots|
Plate two pies and half the carrots and parsnips on each of two serving plates.
|Spicy whiting pies are plated with carrots and parsnips|
Drain the peas and add them to the plates last of all.
|Tucking in to spicy whiting fish pies and assorted veg|