Fish pie parcels

September 16, 2009

This is a variation of fish pie, putting the fish mixture in a filo pastry parcel. You could put the mix in a pie dish and top with mashed potato and bake, if you prefer. You can substitute the salmon with white fish such as Ling, or a mixture of fish.

Ingredients (makes 4 parcels):

450ml milk
150ml cream
2-3 fresh bay leaves
1 onion, halved
pinch of nutmeg (ideally fresh, grated)
2 large salmon fillets
50g butter
50g plain flour
a large handful of flatleaf parsley, chopped roughly
salt and pepper
8 sheets filo pastry
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Place the milk, cream, bay leaves, onion and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the salmon fillets and poach gently for about 8 minutes, until the fish is just tender and able to flake apart.

Remove the fish from the pan and set aside on a plate. Flake the flesh making sure to remove any bones and skin. Strain the poaching liquid  and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir continuously for a few minutes until golden and the flour has cooked. Slowly pour in some of the poaching liquid whisking continuously, adding a little at a time until all the liquid has been added. Over a low heat let the sauce simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Fold in the flaked salmon and parsley and season to taste.

Place a sheet of filo pastry on a surface and brush with olive oil. Lay a second sheet on top and spoon some of the fish mixture on to the pastry and fold over and tuck in the sides to make a rectangular parcel.  Brush with olive oil. Place the parcel on a greased oven tray and repeat with the remaining pastry and mixture.Cook for 20 minutes until golden.

Serve with a green salad.


Spinach and feta pie

September 8, 2009

This makes a great weekend brunch/lunch dish, or evening supper. Every time I make this recipe I vary the ingredients somewhat. If you don’t have shallots, use onions. If you have fresh mint use instead of dill. Baby spinach, silverbeet (chard) or English spinach, or a mixture of the 3, all work well.

Ingredients (serves 4):
5 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
500g spinach (baby spinach, silverbeet, English spinach or a mixture ) washed well to remove grit and chopped
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Handful of dill, chopped
150g feta cheese, crumbled
8 sheets of filo pastry
Olive oil

Heat oven to 180.

Saute the shallots in oil over a low heat until golden, not brown. Add the spinach, spring onions, herbs and feta cheese to a bowl. Add the cooked shallots and mix together. Season to taste.

Lightly oil a large baking dish (20x30cm approx.). Line with a sheet of filo pastry and brush the pastry lightly with olive oil. Repeat with 3 more sheets.

Add the filling and spread evenly over the pastry base. Cover with a sheet of filo pastry and brush lightly with olive oil. Repeat with 3 more sheets, making sure the edges are tucked in.

Cook for 35-40 minutes, until pastry is golden and crunchy on top.

Serve with a fresh leaf salad and wine vinaigrette.

Apple caramel pancakes

September 8, 2009

Ingredients (serves 3):
150g plain flour
2 eggs
300ml milk
50g butter (plus some to cook pancakes)
100g soft brown sugar
50ml single cream
1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced  finely

Sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add eggs and slowly whisk milk until you have a smooth batter.

In a saucepan, melt butter and then add sugar. Stir until sugar is melted and combined to form a bubbling caramel. Add cream and continue to stir until smooth and completely mixed in. Add the apple slices and cook for 5 mins or until softened.

Heat a frypan and melt a small knob of butter. Add enough pancake mixture to coat pan and cook until small bubbles appear. Flip the pancake and cook for a minute on the other side. Continue cooking pancakes until mixure is finished.

To serve, pour warm apple caramel sauce over pancakes.

[Adapted from a Donna Hay recipe]

Ingredients (serves 2):
750ml vegetable stock
1 knob ginger, peeled and finely sliced
2 tblsp soy sauce
150g soba noodles
200g salmon fillet, skin removed and sliced into 2
Handful of spinach or silverbeet, finely sliced
Handful of green beans, sliced lengthwise
Coriander to serve

Add the stock, ginger and soy sauce to a deep-sided fry pan and slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. You can remove the ginger after this but I prefer to leave it in. Add the noodles, silverbeet and beans to the broth and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the noodles from the broth and divide between 2 bowls.  Add the salmon to the broth and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
Spoon the salmon, vegetables and broth over the noodles and serve with coriander leaves.