After Norland’s lectures were moved online in light of recent circumstances, distanced Food and Nutrition lectures (part of the Norland Diploma) saw students asked to cook nutritious meals with a hypothetical list of ingredients a client may have and to use what’s in their cupboards. During these uncertain times, second-year student Rosy (Set 42) shares a comforting recipe that is perfect for batch making as well as using common ingredients in your kitchen cupboards and a few extras you can buy in your supermarket.

I have used the Norland fish pie recipe as a base, altering it slightly to suit the ingredients I had. However, some of the additional ingredients I have added may not be suitable for pregnant women and young children.

fish pie in dish

How can children get involved?
When making fish pie there are various stages at which children can get involved. Children can help with the slicing and dicing of vegetables, providing they use a suitable knife for their age and are monitored closely. Children can also help stir the fish pie filling together and watch how the consistency changes along with the colours of the ingredients, just be careful they are not close to the heat. Another fun stage that children can get involved with is the mashing of the potatoes. On mashing the potatoes, you can easily sing the nursery rhyme, ‘One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, four…’.

Why a fish pie?
Fish pie is very versatile and at such times of uncertainty, it is important that we become resourceful when cooking and wasting as little as possible. Fish pie allows us to do this by adding whatever vegetables and fish we have available in our kitchens. It is also very important that we are getting a wide range of both macro and micro-nutrients in order to keep as healthy as possible, both are present within fish pie. It is a great wholesome meal, high in protein (aiding growth and repair), a good source of carbohydrate (providing energy), and contains various vegetables (providing a variety of vitamins and minerals, which promote a healthy body including strengthening immune systems).

• 220g of fresh fish (skinless and cut into chunks). My fish was from a ‘fish pie mix’ packet. I also added some extra prawns and left-over smoked salmon which were in the fridge.
• 1 onion (finely chopped)
• 3 celery sticks (finely sliced)
• 1 pepper (finely sliced)
• handful of peas
• 25g butter
• 25g plain flour
• 175ml milk
• 1tbsp of grated strong cheese
• 1tsp mustard
• 1tsp lemon juice
• white pepper

Topping:
• 250g potatoes peeled and chopped
• half a grated carrot
• knob of butter
• 1tbsp milk
• 20g strong cheddar (grated)

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6

For the topping, put the potatoes in a saucepan and pour over enough water to cover them. Bring to the boil and then simmer. After five minutes of the potatoes simmering, cook until the potatoes are thoroughly tender. Drain the potatoes and place back into the saucepan, add a small knob of butter and mash.

Melt the 25g of butter in a heavy-based saucepan and sauté the onion, celery and pepper until soft. Then add the flour and cook for one minute. Gradually stir in milk, making sure to stir well so that no lumps form. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly, so that the mixture thickens and becomes glossy.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, mustard, dill and lemon juice.

Season the fish with pepper then add it to the sauce and gently stir, careful not to break the fish.

Gently spoon the filling into an oven-proof dish. Put the mashed potato and carrot over the filling. Egg wash the top of the pie and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

As this was for our family dinner, I also served the fish pie with carrot batons and broccoli, both of these were on the list of available ingredients. 

ingredients in frying pan for fish pie

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