This is my idea of a great seafood pie, loaded with prawns, fish and scallops with a silky, fennel seed and saffron-spiked sauce, peas, fine shavings of potato, a lift of lemon, flecks of fresh parsley and dill, and a golden crust of flaky puff pastry. Just add a simple green salad.
NEED TO KNOW
|Type of dish||Seafood|
|Cooking time||1 - 2 hours|
|75g butter, plus extra|
|2 pinches saffron threads|
|75g plain flour|
|900ml quality fish stock, hot|
|2 desiree potatoes, peeled and very finely sliced on a mandoline|
|1 bunch spring onions, cut into 4cm lengths|
|1/2 cup frozen peas|
|extra virgin olive oil|
|6 shallots, sliced|
|2 leeks, sliced|
|5 cloves garlic, sliced|
|2 tsp ground fennel|
|freshly ground black pepper|
|300g small flathead fillets (or your favourite white-fleshed fish), boneless|
|150g green prawn cutlets, sliced in half lengthways|
|1 lemon, zest and juice|
|1 handful parsley leaves, chopped|
|1 handful dill fronds, chopped|
|1/2 cup Israeli cous cous, cooked per packet instructions|
|1 rolled piece puff pastry, chilled|
|1 egg, to glaze|
1. Preheat your oven to 200C fan-forced or 220C conventional.
2. In a heavy-based pot, melt the butter with the saffron. Add the flour and cook, stirring, on medium heat for one minute then whisk in the hot stock. Bring to the boil and add the potatoes, simmer for eight minutes on low heat while stirring. Remove from the heat, add the spring onions and peas and set aside.
3. In a small pot, add a splash of oil and some extra butter and sweat off the shallots, leeks and garlic. Add the ground fennel and a generous grinding of pepper, season with salt and cook for 10 to 15 minutes while stirring constantly.
4. Toss the seafood in a little oil and sear in three batches in a very hot, large frying pan, seasoning as you go - note you are not cooking through, just searing.
5. Add the seafood, lemon juice and zest, parsley, dill and cous cous to the pot with the stock and potatoes, mix through, adjust the seasoning if necessary and transfer to a pie dish about six-centimetres deep (you can use any shape, but the gap between the top of the filling and the pastry shouldn't be too large).
6. Cut the pastry the same shape as your dish but with a three-centimetre overhang. Brush the top edges of the dish with egg and drop the pastry on top. Decorate the pie with pastry scraps and cut some slits to release steam. Brush the pastry with egg and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and the mix is bubbling.
1. Make sure the pan is hot and not crowded when you fry the seafood, as you only want to sear it quickly.
2. Picked crabmeat or flaked smoked trout would also work well in this pie.
3. If you want to make your own puff pastry you can find my rough puff pastry recipe here.
- Good Food
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