This is one of my favourite fish pies which is really good to serve to guests as it looks so scrumptious and different when baked. Filo pastry keeps it light and is used in a decorative way as a topping. The herby cream cheese filling which is added to cubes of salmon and prawns/shrimp is so smooth and delicious too.
You will need a 20cm (8 in) loose-bottomed flan tin, 3.75cm (1½ inches) deep, buttered, and a baking sheet. Also a deep sided frying pan/skillet.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) gas 6.
Pop the baking sheet in the oven to heat up while preparing the pie.
Now bring some water to the boil in the frying pan/skillet. It will need to be deep enough to cover the salmon. Then add the salmon and bring back to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat, cover the pan/skillet and leave for the water to poach the salmon, about 2–3 minutes, until it is just cooked.
With a slotted spoon, remove the salmon and leave on a plate to cool completely.
Meanwhile, beat together the crème fraîche, cream cheese, eggs, herbs, and seasoning until the mixture is smooth.
Take two of the sheets of pastry, cut them in half to give four sheets. Brush one sheet with melted butter, then lay a second sheet on top, rotating it slightly so the edges don’t line up. Brush this sheet with melted butter. Now lay a third sheet on top, again rotating it slightly, and brush with butter. Lay the fourth sheet on top, slightly rotated.
Lift the pastry layers and line the flan tin, gently pressing the pastry down into the tin. The edges of the pastry should extend over the rim. Now brush the top layer of pastry with melted butter.
Brush the remaining piece of pastry with melted butter and put to one side.
Place the salmon cubes over the pastry and then add the prawns/shrimps.
Pour over the cream mixture.
Now bring the edges of the pastry up over the the filling around the edge, leaving it roughly scrunched up.
Tear the remaining piece of pastry into long strips. Scrunch these up and use them to cover the exposed filling.
Place the flan tin on the hot baking sheet and loosely cover with foil. Then bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and continue baking for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is crisp and turning golden in colour.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes for the filling to set.
Now carefully lift the pie from the tin but leave on the base. Let it cool for 2 minutes then gently slide off the base.
Serve cut into wedges along with a green salad.
Filo pastry dries out very quickly, so keep it covered until it is needed to be used.
As the pastry does not contain any fat it can be refrozen. Remove the packet from the freezer to thaw, keeping it covered. Then when the pastry is needed, unroll it and remove the 3 sheets. Now carefully roll the pastry back up, return it to its wrapping and place back in the freezer.
These meringues are flavoured with coffee and, when cooked, a little melted chocolate is drizzled over. Serve on their own or with whipped cream or ice cream. Whatever you choose, they just melt in your mouth.
3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
85g (3 oz) dark chocolate
You will also need 2 medium baking sheets/trays lined with baking parchment
Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).
If using coffee granules, dissolve in 1 teaspoon of hot water and set aside to cool.
Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until just stiff. Now gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes very thick and glossy. Then sprinkle over the coffee and whisk until it has thoroughly mixed in.
Dab a little meringue on the corners of the baking sheets/trays which will prevent the parchment paper from slipping. Then line each sheet/tray, pressing the baking parchment down at the corners. Spoon 4 mounds of meringue onto each baking sheet/tray, spacing them well apart. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The meringues should feel hard to the touch and lift off the parchment paper easily. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Meanwhile break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of just simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth, then remove from the heat and leave until it has become cold.
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the meringues and then refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.
Marinading time: at least 30 minutes, overnight if possible
Cooking time: 10 minutes hob, 30 minutes oven
450g (1 lb) pork fillet/tenderloin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetables to serve
roasted, diced potatoes and carrots
You will also need 2 small roasting tins/pans.
For the mustard pork
Mix together the maple syrup, mustard, garlic, oil, and seasoning. Then pour into a shallow dish. Now add the pork and turn to coat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at at least 30 minutes; overnight if possible.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).
Remove the pork from the fridge to bring it up to room temperature.
Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Parboil a few potatoes and carrots for 7 minutes. Drain and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Then chop, put in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil.
The vegetables and pork are roasted at the same time. So tip the vegetables into a small roasting tin/pan along with the olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes until they start to brown and crisp.
Transfer the pork to the second tin/pan and pour over the marinade. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and the juices run clear when tested with a skewer.
Slice the pork and pour over the sticky pan juices. Serve with the roasted vegetables and accompany with peas.
Pour the sherry and soy sauce into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
Cut the steak into 1.25cm (½ inch) slices and add to the bowl. Turn the steak to coat, then cover the bowl, refrigerate and leave to marinade for at least an hour.
Remove the bowl from the fridge just before preparing the rice to enable steak to come to room temperature.
For the rice
Put the onion, rice, stock, and cumin seeds into a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 35–40 minutes until the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
When it is cooked, leave to rest for 10 minutes while cooking the steak and vegetables.
For the steak
First, cut the tomatoes in half and then each half into thirds.
Drain the meat, reserving the marinade.
Blend the cornflour/cornstarch into the marinade and set to one side.
Now heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet over a medium heat. Add the steak and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes, turning frequently, until lightly browned.
Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for a further minute.
Add the tomatoes and stir in the reserved marinade. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 1 minute.
Divide the rice amongst four plates, spooning it around the edge of each plate to form a circle. Now spoon the steak and vegetables into the centre of the rice, and spoon over any sauce remaining in the pan.
Serve immediately garnished with a little parsley.
For this recipe you will need a large frying pan/skillet with lid and a 2.25 litre (4 pint) ovenproof dish
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).
Peel and cut potatoes into large chunks. Cook in boiling, salted water for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets, about 115g (4 oz) (1 cup). Not all the head of broccoli will be needed.
Remove the stalks from the dill and reserve. Chop dill leaves and put to one side.
Now lay the salmon in the frying pan/skillet and pour over the water and wine. Add the seasoning, dill stalks, and lemon slices. Cover the panskillet. Bring the liquid slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.
Remove from the heat and discard the dill stalks and lemon slices. Using a slice, lift the fish and lay it in the ovenproof dish. Flake into chunks using a fork and check for bones.Then strain and reserve the cooking liquor.
Now scatter the prawns/shrimps and broccoli over the fish.
Next melt the butter in the frying pan/skillet and stir in the flour to form a smooth paste. Remove from the heat and slowly add the reserved cooking liquor, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth. Return to the heat and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and cook for a further minute, while continuing to stir, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the cream. Add the chopped dill leaves and season. Now pour the sauce over the fish.
Mash the potatoes, adding just enough milk to create a creamy mash. Season well. Cover the fish with spoonfuls of the potato. Don’t flatten the spoon shapes out as you are after a bumpy look.
Then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and pour the melted butter over the top.
Bake for 40–45 minutes until piping hot and lightly browned.