Today I made our girls a fish pie, and it was glorious! That may sound a bit strong but I’m really excited at how well it turned out, especially as it involved coming up with a white sauce that our girls can eat. It is cow’s milk free, wheat free, corn free, gluten free, fructose free, pretty much everything free and it was so good that even my husband loved it, which is praise indeed given that he hates being made to eat fish! To be honest, it has been nice to have a success as I made a complete hash of trying to create a wheat/corn/cow’s milk free pastry on the weekend and was feeling a bit deflated.
The recipe is very simple and I’m going to keep it scant and brief so that you can easily sub things in and out to suit your own tolerances. Ours included no onions or veg due to our girls limited diets but I’m sure you could come up with a few to add if you wanted to. Peas, spinach or capers would be nice. This recipe made enough for 2 children which would equal one adult portion. Next week I’ll be making it for the whole family!
1) Cook some fish of your choice, break it up into chunks and arrange it in an oven proof dish. Including some smoked fish adds a lovely flavour and mixing a few different types of fish is nice. I used one piece of frozen haddock, which I poached in oat milk, and a tin of mackerel simply because this is what we had in the house! Next time I’ll try smoked haddock, mackerel and maybe a few prawns.
2) Hard boil an egg, peel and chop it up and scatter amongst the fish (obviously this is easily omitted for egg allergy people).
3) Now for the white sauce….
- Heat 1 tablespoon of fat in a pan. I used sunflower oil as that is our only safe at the moment, but you could use another oil or a margarine.
- Add 1 tablespoon of your safe flour and start to stir, ideally with something like a whisk. I used 1/2 tablespoon of rice flour and 1/2 tablespoon of potato flour but I’m sure others would work too.
- After around 30 seconds start to add 1/2 cup of your safe milk (oat milk in our case) and stir continuously to avoid lumps from forming. Initially it will form a horrible gloopy looking ball but keep adding the milk gradually and it will start to form a thick sauce as you stir it vigorously. If possible use the milk you poached the fish in. The oat milk I used split during poaching so I disgarded it.
- Once you feel the flour is cooked and you have the consistency you want remove it from the heat and add a generous sprinkling of dill and some salt and pepper.
4) Pour the white sauce over the fish and egg and give it a gentle mix to combine.
5) Now for the topping.
- Peel a potato and slice it very thinly. Toss the slices in some oil and salt and arrange them on top of the fish mixture.
- I used this method as my girls won’t eat mash and I’ve failed at pastry (see above). If potatoes aren’t an option for you how about a savoury oat-based crumble topping or giving pastry a go?
6) Whack it in the oven for around 30-40 minutes at 180 C. I think next time I’ll finish it off under the grill to brown off the potato topping a bit more.
And viola, one glorious, and quickly devoured, fish pie! Hope you enjoy and if you give it a go then let me know how you get on.
A Disclaimer: I feel I should apologise for the poor quality of the food photography in this post, and the rest of the blog in general to be honest! It’s an area I have a lot to learn about and some days, such as today, I don’t have the time to give it much thought. First thing this morning I poached the fish and prepared the egg whilst sorting washing and catching a heffalump, the white sauce I put together between lunch and nursery drop-off and the potatoes were done as my youngest woke up and were therefore interrupted by reading a story and making cosy milk. Photos were taken along the way, wherever I could find space. What you can’t see in the photos are what is directly next to them; a half finished craft project, the remnents of lunch and a room strewn with toys! But I’m trying not to stress about it and to keep sharing my recipes with you, even if they’re not accompanied by the type of beautiful photos I see on other blogs. I hope you don’t mind!
This recipe has been shared on Free From Fridays at freefromfarmhouse.co.uk