Nick's Christmas Countdown - week 8
I think this makes a lovely change from all the meat over the Christmas holidays. Make now and freeze. Then defrost thoroughly and reheat.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Cut the salmon and cod into large chunks. Toss the fish with a good splash of lemon juice and plenty freshly ground black pepper. Tip into the bottom of an ovenproof dish that will take the fish leaving enough room for the mashed potato. Add the prawns.
Blanch the peas in boiling water for 2 mins. Drain and add to the fish.
Next make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan, add the flour and, using a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, stir over the heat for 2-3 minutes until you have a smooth bubbling paste that is beginning to turn a sandy brown and starts to smell toasty. Leaving the pan on the heat and using a wire whisk, whisk in the milk in two or three goes, whisking well before each addition to whisk out the lumps. Make sure it is well blended. Return to the heat and slowly bring to the boil, whisking all the time to prevent the dreaded lumps forming.
Once thickened, stir in the cheddar, Parmesan and a heaped teaspoon or more of Dijon mustard, lemon zest and lemon juice to taste. Taste then season.
Pour this directly over the fish making sure it covers all of it and stir. Spoon over the potato in dollops then use spread it out with a fork. Brush the surface with melted butter then make a pattern with the prongs of a fork all over the surface – not only does this look good but roughening up the surface will give a better colour and crunchy bits. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling, let it rest for 5 minutes before serving with a big bowl of broccoli.
400g skinned salmon fillet
400g thick, skinned cod/haddock fillet
200g shelled raw king prawns
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
100g frozen peas
For the cheesy white sauce
100ml double cream (optional, or use extra milk)
50g freshly grated Cheddar
50g freshly grated Parmesan
1-3 tsp Dijon mustard
finely grated zest and juice of ½ a lemon
350g warm mashed potato
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper