Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Comforting Lunch for 4

It’s Melbourne, it’s June, it’s freezing. A really dense fog descended on the eastern suburbs last night as we were coming home on the freeway. In fact, it was so foggy we could barely see 3 metres in front of us. Scary stuff. Thankfully the fog cleared by morning, but it was still well cold… the perfect weather for a comforting lunch.

41. Fish and Porcini Pie

To make this pie, you start by poaching some fish in milk, fish stock and porcini mushroom soaking liquid.

Poaching fish – the recipe asks for cod, salmon, and smoked haddock, but Nigella says, “You can change the fish as you want”. I went with salmon, flake, smoked cod, because cod was the only smoked fish I could find, and I thought the colours were so pretty together.

Fish in dish

Then you use the poaching liquid and mushrooms to make a white sauce. You put the fish, then the sauce, in a dish, top it with mashed potato and bake it.

Ready for oven

During baking time, the filling got a bit excited and erupted over the sides and onto the floor of the oven. Whoops.

Dirty oven

Peas and Pie

One plate

This was well tasty! It was so good, definitely a keeper. You'd think it'd be a bit rich, what with all the butter and full-fat milk and potatoes, but it was just perfect. Smooth, lush, and very flavoursome. (By the way, I used milk and butter in the potatoes instead of double cream). My dad loved it, and he usually doesn't go for this type of stodgy English nursery food.

Dad: Make this again. Are you going to make this again? You have to make this again. I don't care if you don't put it up on the blog. You going to make this tomorrow?

You know how Nigella recipes are usually extremely generous in portion? When we first looked at my pie we didn't think we could finish it, but it was so delicious and easy to eat. We could have easily finished the lot, but restrained ourselves for the sake of our collective waistline. It was so yum my brother even got some leftover challah from the kitchen bench to come and mop up the juicy sauces.

But dessert, oh my god the dessert! As per Nigella's suggestion, it was ice-cream, cherries (Morello from a jar), flaked almonds (Lucky from a packet) and chocolate sauce.

I made the ice-cream yesterday, and did the chocolate sauce after we ate my pie. The chocolate sauce recipe comes from Nigella’s Poires Belle Hélène, so doesn’t count as a separate recipe. It’s very easy, you melt 2 blocks of dark chocolate with sugar and coffee and stir through some double cream in the end.

Daniel: Eats one spoon of ice-cream without sauce… This is orgasmic! Orgasmic! Orgasmic!

Dad: Oh my god this ice-cream is so smooth! You don't need the chocolate sauce with this, this ice-cream is fantastic by itself!

The sauce was lovely, but extremely rich! We’ve got heaps left over… what am I going to do with it?

Dad: Don’t worry, I’ll eat the chocolate sauce.
Me: But I thought you said you just wanna eat my ice-cream by itself, that adding stuff would interfere with the taste…?
Dad: Yes yes, but I’ll put the chocolate sauce on the cheap ice-cream we've already got. That ice-cream NEEDS chocolate sauce!


Choc sauce and cherries - the ice-cream is in that jug on the right

Best ice-cream ever! The most important thing, I think, is just to use the best ingredients - a proper vanilla pod, fresh eggs, good cream. I love its golden richness, and the little vanilla seed flecks all the way through. It's sublime. I'm a total ice-cream junkie, and this was just heaven. And I definitely recommend adding the extra double cream when you make it. Bliss!

Go Nigella!

See, this is one of the reasons I'm glad I started this project - I probably wouldn't have even tried making the pie otherwise (like I said, we don't go for this type of food much as a family), and that would have been a real shame. Because it was a joy to eat.

1 comment:

Lotta / said...


I love your family's comments - they are hilarious. :) I'm happy you overcame your fear of custards and made the ice-cream. It's so nice to read your stories, I look forward to new ones every day. :D