Introduction: Fish Pie
This was an idea that worked out nicely.
A pie shaped like a fish, containing fish and veggies.
Step 1: The Back Story
My wife was cleaning out cupboards. Not the food ones, not the ones that contain our daily implements of destruction. These are the twilight zone cupboards. You know the ones, they absorb certain items. Things that won't be missed. Usually located high above the others, places like above the refrigerator or microwave. Things enter but are rarely seen again. That is where this Instructable began. In the pile of items recovered from this wasteland, there it was, a fish. No ordinary fish, this fish used to transform gelatin into magical jiggling sugary treats. They were filled with fun things like grapes, orange wedges, even the odd piece of apple. Not today! I have a more sinister plan. No dessert for this fish. This fish shall be filled with, fish.
Thanks for reading my back story.
Step 2: The Filling
The fish is waiting patiently in the fridge. The first step is to prep the ingredients. BAM! That was easy wasn't it?
Step 3: A Bit More About the Filling
Farm fresh garlic, a whole head was chopped. Dill and parsley always come in huge bundles. I pulled a hand full of each. The rest gets hung to dry if no other ideas come to mind. That way it won't turn into crisper carpet slime. Eew! The carrot and parsnip got shredded. I didn't want to show the onion being minced. It always makes me cry. The baked potato refused to be photographed, if the onion didn't have to do it the potato didn't want to either. Veggies can be so temperamental.
Step 4: Milk
Three cups of milk and half the parsley dill mixture is set on medium heat. I don't want it to boil. I will poach the fish in it once it comes up to temperature.
Step 5: Oil and Iron
A drizzle of grape seed oil heated to medium in the cast iron pan, makes a perfect spot for sauteing the onion and garlic. This smells amazing!
Step 6: Add the Fish
Tilapia was the fish of choice this week. You could use any fish you desire. With the milk up to a temperature that steams but doesn't boil, I set the fish in for it's final swim. Cover and turn the heat down to low.
Step 7: Back to the Cast Iron
Now with the onion/garlic mix showing a nice bit of golden color I add the carrot/parsnip mix and stir.
Step 8: Add Moisture
The mix started to dry pretty quick. To avoid burning it, I added some milk from the fish. I covered the pan and turned it down super low.
Step 9: The Last Bits
Once the mixture was cooked, I added a cup of frozen corn/pea mix, topped with a large pinch of the parsley/dill mix, covered and turned off the burner.
Step 10: Back to the Fish
Now my attention is on the fish. I folded the thickest piece and it broke cleanly and was cooked enough for my liking. After breaking them apart, they were transferred to the cast Iron pan.
Step 11: The Thickener
The thickener I used today was corn starch. Potato starch or flour would do the same job. I mixed 2 tbsp into half a cup of cold milk and mixed it well. Then I whisked it into the milk the fish was cooked in.
Step 12: Whisk
A bit of salt and the last of the dill/parsley mix was added. Then constant whisking until the liquid becomes thick. Once a trail showing the bottom of the pan is seen behind the whisk, turn off the heat and cover.
Step 13: Scoop
Now that everything is cooked I scoop it into bowls and set it aside. I quickly clean up my mess and prepare to make my crust.
Step 14: Prep
Three things to prep before starting the crust. Set the oven to preheat 425°f line the fish with plastic wrap. Put parchment paper on a baking tray.
Step 15: See the Doctor
Dr. Oetker pie crust mixes are pretty fool proof. I don't make pie very often so I like to keep one or two of these in the cupboard. They have a decent shelf life, and when opened you use it all. Just add the butter and water. Kneed a bit and your good to go. You will need a bit of flour when rolling out the crust. Even my ancient stale flour works fine for that job. Cut in the required butter first.
Step 16: Water Kneeded
I add refrigerated water and mix with a fork. I end up using 5 tbsp of water before I'm ready to kneed it by hand and divide it. I take about 1 third to make the top. Actually it will become the bottom once I'm done.
Step 17: Size Matters
The size and shape is unconventional, to say the least. I make the executive decision then start pressing it into the mold. I think it worked out pretty good. I press firmly so the shape of the mold is impressed into the dough.
Step 18: Mix It Up
I quickly roll out the top/bottom and bring over the filling. I kept the liquid separate in case there was too much. It was actually just enough. The potato was already cooked so I now fold it in gently, I don't want mashed potato.
Step 19: Fill Er Up
To be perfectly honest I could just eat this by the bowl full. I've gone to all this work, so into the fish it goes.
Step 20: Cover and Trim
I was told recently to only wet one side of a pastry seam. Dry will stick to wet but wet doesn't stick to wet. I brushed some water around the edge of the fish before dropping the cover on. I trimmed away the excess and crimped around the edges the best I could. Next time I would leave a bit more extra at the inner curve.
Step 21: Flip It
Now the Parchment paper gets placed on top, then the pan. With a steady hand, pick it all up and flip it over. Nice!
Step 22: Tada!
Tada! What else is there to say?
Step 23: Peeling
This moment of truth was stressful. But things went without a hitch. I peeled the plastic and smoothed the edge with a butter knife.
Step 24: Wash and Vent
With that done I do an egg wash. 1 egg 1 tbsp water whisked up and brushed all over. I cut the gills open and did some other venting, so it wouldn't blow up in the oven.
Step 25: A Tester
There was just enough left over filling to fill a small foil tray. The leftover dough was large enough to cover. The oven is up to temperature so away we go.
Step 26: Into the Oven
In the oven they go 425°f for 25 minutes.
Step 27: Lets Eat
How did it turn out you ask. I can't show you yet I'm too hungry. I also have to let it cool a bit before trying to take it off the tray. I didn't egg wash the little pi (-; so it isn't golden brown.
Step 28: The Big Move
With the fish cooled down enough to move, I draped it with plastic wrap and packed kitchen towels around it. With the aid of my cooling rack, I flipped it over. Peeling the parchment revealed the beautiful bottom.
Step 29: The Big Reveal
It was at this point that the call came in. There was a political event between the Canadian government and our Indigenous population. The way our Indigenous people chose to get the deaf and blind bureaucracy to notice their plight, was to stage events on the countries rail lines. This put a stop to our families trip to the farm. This also made our Chinese New Year fish pie redundant. Rather than placing directly on the serving tray, foil was added first.
Step 30: The Big Cover Up
It looked so nice, I hated to do this to it. We'll have to wait a bit and see how our government reacts. It could be in the deep freeze for a while.
Step 31: The Re Reveal
Well here we are again. The political powers that be were able to negotiate a truce. Then an even worse event began to unfold. COVID 19 began spreading rampantly. Again a visit from the kids and grand kids from the big city appears a ways off. I have to thank them for being hesitant, not wanting to kill granny and pops. Thing is, its now Easter and this fish pie was too much work to let sit and get freezer burn.
It looks as good as it did in January when it went into cold storage. I'll thaw it in the refrigerator for 2 days.
Step 32: Heat Er Up
So into the oven at 375°f for 40 minutes. Lemon will go nicely as will fresh carrot greens from my indoor winter garden.
Step 33: Nice
I thought this was nice. My lovely and talented wife set it up beautifully. I snap the pic and begin cutting when I hear her say, I'm not done yet!
Step 34: Even Nicer
Oh, the crazy whistling fish water jug and green glasses. Why didn't I think of that. Oh well, I could photo shop the cuts out of the fish's neck but that would be cheating. Bon a petite.
Participated in the
Baking Speed Challenge