Anyfish's very own Stu has been on the team for a good while now and it's safe to say he knows his stuff when it comes to fish. Whether it be the best way to fillet fresh sea bass, what to add to a fish stew to give it a little bit of fire, how best to skewer a squid or how many minutes for mussels, he's a proverbial fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things fishy, and we love him for it.
Stu is also a dab hand in the kitchen. We've tried to get him onto Masterchef but he's a bit too busy in the shop, so instead we've offered him the opportunity of showcasing one or two of his 'specialities de la maison' on this very blog. First up is his ever-so-special fish pie. Now we know that pretty much everyone reckons they can rustle up a fish pie and yes, it's not rocket science. However, Stu has a couple of tricks up his sleeve which make his fish pie just that little bit different from the rest and we'd say it might just be our favourite.
With Easter beckoning, fish pie seems appropriate as it's traditionally eaten on Good Friday. Historically 'Fish Fridays' were introduced by the Catholic Church because the powers that be thought too much meat was causing parishioners to get a little too 'frisky'. Gradually the number of obligatory Fish Fridays were reduced until now they're mainly in Lent. At Anyfish we like every Friday to be Fish Friday, we're partial to the odd fish Monday-to-Thursday and we're still pretty frisky.
So here's Stu's secret recipe for his fabulous fish pie. Handed down through generations (sort of), he's honed it to perfection and you can prepare your own in just a few minutes. Stu's on a mission to dispel the myth that there's a dark art to cooking fish and this is one recipe that definitely illustrates his point.
For a pie to fill four hungry people, opt for around 800g of mixed fish (raw and diced into nice chunky pieces), a piece of smoked haddock and a scoop of raw prawns. You can of course adjust the proportions according to what you fancy so if you like more smokiness and fewer prawns - go for it.
Pop the mixed fish into a bowl and add 200g of creme fraiche, the zezt of a lime and a spoon of hot horseradish (don't worry, we sell that in the Anyfish deli too). Then add plenty of seasoning to taste.
Mix the fish gently into the creme fraiche sauce and spoon it into the base of your oven proof dish. For his fish pie topping, Stu uses par-cooked celeriac, grated and mixed up with some grated Cheddar cheese, but any combination of par-cooked, grated root vegetables would work. Alternatively crushed new potatoes or mash (with or without added cheese) makes a classically delicious topping.
Brush the top of the fish pie with melted butter to ensure maximum colour and crispiness and then pop it into a pre-heated oven at 180c for about 40minutes. Plate up, add an accompanying pile of scrumptious buttered and well seasoned green spring veg (we like kale or purple sprouting broccoli best) and get stuck in.
For all the fishy ingredients required for Stu's fabulous fish pie, just pop along to the Anyfish shop and stock up. Whilst you're at it, if you have any fish-pie related questions, you can ask the man himself.
P.S. If you do try this recipe out, we'd love to hear what you think :-)