Serves 4


Celebrate National Pie Week and create your own FABULOUS FISH PIE...
Choose your own selection of fish, spices, herbs and topping...

375g fish fillets: coley, hake, pollack, tilapia, salmon, smoked haddock or boneless kippers
Add some shellfish: cooked cold water prawns and cooked mussels - if you want

For the topping: 400g King Edward potatoes, peeled OR.... sweet potatoes, celeriac, parnsip. swede and butternut squash... OR 350g cooked penne or fusilli pasta?
30g butter
5 tablespoons hot milk
5 heaped tablespoons of half fat creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt. 

For the sauce
600mls skimmed milk - heated with 1 bayleaf and some onion/leek trimmings and strained
80g butter
1 finely sliced leek or 225g quartered button mushrooms, 150g sweet corn kernels/peas/ broad beans, or 300g wilted spinach chopped
85g plain flour
a generous pinch of: cayenne pepper, English mustard, grated nutmeg... or Madras curry.
2 hard-boiled eggs or quails eggs, halved or quartered
1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley... plus one other herb...: dill, chervil, tarragon, coriander or chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To finish and to make a crunchy topping...: 2 tablespoons grated Cheddar cheese, Parmesan, Emmenthal, Gouda, Edam or crumbled feta...

To get going - preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200C.

Cut the fish into large chunks, arrange in a gratin dish.

Make the topping: Cook the chosen potatoes etc in boiling, lightly salted water, until tender. Drain and then mash well before adding butter, hot milk and finally the Greek yoghurt. Season to taste and set aside.

Make the sauce: Strain the infused milk. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the leek (or mushrooms) and cook over a low heat for 6 - 7 minutes or until the leek is soft and transparent. If using sweet corn, peans or spinach - add these to the sauce right at the end. 
Add the flour and chosen spices to the leek and stir well. Blend on the milk a little at a time until smooth. Return to the heat and stir continuously over a low heat until the mixture comes to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes then season to taste... bearing in mind that if you have used smoked fish - that will be a little salty too. If you are not going to cook the pie straight away allow the sauce to cool before use. 

Assemble the pie... Spoon the sauce over the fish and stir together. Spoon the cooked potato/potato mix on top and fluff up with a fork... or press flat and create a pattern with a knife or a fork to create a 'plouged field' effect...
If using pasta toss that with the yoghurt only and pile on top.

Finish with the cheese of your choice. Put the gratin dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until the topping is brown and crispy. Serve with a salad... if you want...