At the moment in the northern hemisphere, a cold snap has swept across the country, brining with it a bit of snow and less than ideal views. Being indoor bound in periods like this, comfort food is normally the order of the day. Some people prefer cake, other’s a pizza pie, what I prefer is a good old fashion pie, with crust and all.
Having grown up in the South Pacific, seafood was always readily available and while it doesn’t get quite as cold back home as where I live now, I still consider any time is still a good time to eat a pie. In this case a seafood pie.
I could of made the pastry from scratch, but let’s face it, comfort food is also about convenience. So apart from the pastry, how would I make this seafood pie, you ask?
In this case I’d start off with a béchamel sauce, which itself is based on a roux or a flour and fatty substance based paste. Flesh it out a little bit with some milk, an you have the basis of what forms one of the three classical French sauces. It’s also commonly refereed to as a white sauce, it’s one of the more useful bases you can make.
Once you’ve made the béchamel sauce, you’re virtually done, just drop in your filling, roll out your pastry, cover, baste and heat. In 30 minutes you can treat yourself, to a steaming hot slice of pie.
500 ml milk
35g plain flour
salt and freshly milled black pepper
3 bulbs of garlic chopped
1x onion diced
Half a lemon.
500g fish cut into chunky pieces
300g mixed seafoods
2x Potatos diced.
A few sprigs of parsley
500g of puff pastry
– Bring some water to boil in a pot and cook the potatoes, before setting aside for later use, which we will use the starch in the potatoes, to help hot the sauce together.
– Having chopped up the garlic and onions, heat up a pan with a little oil and sauté gently the garlic and onions, then set aside for later on.
– The next stage is to create the béchamel sauce, by turning the stove onto a low-medium heat, in order to have better control the reaction. Drop the butter into a pot and with the sifted flour, the butter should melt and begin to form a paste, which is the roux. Once you this starts to form, pour in a small portion of the milk, stirring constantly until the sauce become more consistent, then add a bit more milk again stirring constantly, until it’s all used up.
– Eventually once the sauce has a velvety consistency, bring it to boil before reducing the heat, adding salt and pepper for seasoning.
– Adding the fish and seafood to the sauce, gently stir until cooked, followed by the potatoes and add the parsley, dill and spring onions to the sauce as well as the juice of half a lemon at the end.
– Preheat the oven, to 180 degree’s Celsius on fan.
– Roll the pastry out nice and flat with enough pastry to form both the base and the lid of the pie, then line a pie dish pouring your fish sauce into.
– Adding the top layer of pastry to cover the sauce, pinch the sides of the pastry together to form a crust. Baste the top of the pastry with the beaten egg, to add a lovely golden glaze to the pie. Once you’ve completely coated the pastry, then with a fork, add a few holes to the pastry to allow the excess moisture to escape, while in baking.
– Place in the oven and in half an hours time, your pie should be golden brown and ready to serve up. Bon apetite.