I was chatting to my friend over a glass of wine about fish pies. She makes a cracking fish pie and I mentioned that I was going to try a seafood pie with prawn tails poking out the top.
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"Oh, like stargazey pie!!" She said.
"What's that? It sounds beautiful!"
"It's a Cornish fish pie with pilchard heads poking out from the pastry."
No. No that sounds terrible.
So I had to do some research.
There was not one single image I found of this ‘stargazey pie’ that made me want rush out and buy a pound of pilchards. I am never one to shy away from trying new things, but pilchard heads ‘gazing star-ward’ just doesn’t sound appealing to me, no matter how dreamy eyed those little fish get. Cornish folklore says that the Devil never visits the town of Mousehole where the pie originated as he was afraid the town folk might chop him up and put him in there – I think he was more terrified of just laying eyes on one of these scary looking pies.
No disrespect to my Cornish cousins, but I am sticking with prawns. Classic seafood or fish pies can be time consuming what with all that prawn peeling and mussel cleaning. If your fishmonger makes a good marinara mix, then by all means buy a kilo of that (although I would dig out the calamari – it will just go rubbery) alternatively buy seafood that has already been cleaned and is ready to go. The good thing about fish and seafood is it cooks in next to no time. An easy and comforting mid week meal.
Serves two; easily doubled
Preparation 15 mins
Cooking: 15 mins
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 spring onions
200g white fish (deboned and skinless)
200g peeled raw prawns
2 raw prawns – tail on.
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon dill
Butter for brushing
Preheat oven to 200°C. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat and add flour, stirring until combined. Gradually add milk and stir until thickened. Add spring onions, prawns and fish, mustard powder and dill and cook for about 4 minutes until fish is partly cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide mixture between individual serving bowls.
Take a sheet of filo pastry and gently scrunch up – not too rough or it will crumble and crack. Place on top of seafood mixture and gently brush with melted butter. Pop a prawn on top and bake for 15 minutes.
Serve with cut lemon to squeeze over the pie. Enjoy.
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