As the winter rolls in and the wild west winds start to rattle the house, its time to crank up the indoor heating and firing up the oven on is one sure way of heating an old kiwi Bach. Coming from a country of central heating and double glazing the flimsy Kiwi houses made from gib and weatherboard without insulation or heating were a bit of a shock when I arrived in NZ. Winter is short here and relatively warm compared to Europe but I still didn’t get the ‘no heating’ malarkey but if you meet a Kiwi through winter you will see they are a hardy bunch, still wearing their Jandels (that’s flip flops to the Brits and Thongs for the Aussies), shorts and T-shirt as the temperatures dip below double figures.
Put another jumper or thermals on we’re the words often uttered by my Kiwi husband and there’s me a obviously spoilt Brit thinking thermals were for expeditions to the Antarctic or fancy ski trips to the Alps not for keeping oneself warm on your sofa! Sometimes we have to get a little creative and we all know a way to a mans heart is his stomach so I started making more casseroles, breads and pies, the perfect way to heat up the house and make it smell great too without someone complaining about the heating bill! So if you need a winter warmer this easy fish pie is a sure thing. It’s based on Jamie’s easy method, no white sauce to prepare and just potatoes and leek to pre cook. I have replaced the regular potato with our New Zealand golden Kumara (sweet potato) and added some cauliflower to the base.
This pie is best if you can use a variety of firm white fish, mixing a little bit of smoked fish for flavour, salmon or even prawns. Make sure that all the fish is scaled and pin boned, nothing worse than scales or bones with a mouthful of creamy mash.
1kg mixed fish fillets (I used salmon, smoked fish and Hoki), cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large leek, finely sliced
1/2 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 Tbsp butter
1.5kg golden kumara potatoes, roughly chopped
200ml single cream
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
50g grated cheddar style cheese
100g Feta cheese, crumbled
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a ceramic or Pyrex dish that can be used on direct heat add 1 tablespoon of butter and place over a low heat.
Add the leeks and cook for 10 minutes until they are soft.
Put the Kumara with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large saucespan of water and bring to the boil, cook until just tender.
Drain the Kumara and add a tablespoon of butter and mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cream, feta and mustard to the leeks in the dish and stir thoroughly, turn off heat under dish.
Add the fish chunks, lemon juice, zest and cauliflower florets to the dish and stir so everything is coated with sauce.
Spread the mashed Kumara potato over the top of the fillings.
Sprinkle the grated cheddar over the top.
Cook for 45-50 minutes or until golden and crisp on top and the filling is bubbling.