A few years back, I read somewhere that someone got meal inspirations, from looking at the selection of ready meals in a supermarket. When I was doing my food shop last week, that’s exactly what I did too. I passed the frozen food section and spotted a Weight Watchers Ocean Pie. The description on the box reads: “Succulent pieces of white fish with carrots and broccoli in a creamy butter sauce, topped with mashed potato, crispy breadcrumbs and cheese topping”.
This had me drooling. But I’ve been burned by the “reduced calorie” flame before. I’m sure it’s purely psychological, but if I eat something that is supposed to be lower in fat or a “diet” version, it will be a matter of mere minutes before I’m reaching for a bag of crisps, to compensate for “depriving myself” of a decent meal. I’d much prefer to make my own version, knowing I can have a balanced, yet hearty portion!
I omitted the breadcrumbs and carrots and added mushrooms & cauliflower to my version. I didn’t look for the exact Weight Watchers recipe, but worked loosely around one I found on bbc good food (it really is my most used resource!)
Ingredients (Serves 4)
600g white fish (I used frozen haddock)
400g frozen broccoli and cauliflower
500g closed cup mushrooms, chopped
600ml milk (I used whole)
1 onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
50g plain flour
5 large potatoes
50-100g cheddar (depends on preference, I used lots of mature cheddar mmmm)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Put the frozen fish into an ovenproof dish, cover with the milk, and squeeze in the quartered onions and bay leaves.
Bake in the oven for 30 mins.
Peel, boil and mash your potatoes and set aside.
Fry the onions and boil the broccoli & cauliflower and set aside.
Once the fish is out of the oven, carefully take the fish out and keep aside on a plate.
Sieve the milk into a jug/bowl, and discard the onions and bay leaves.
Break the fish into bitesized chunks, and return to the oven proof dish. Add the mushrooms, broccoli & cauliflower.
Make the sauce – Melt the butter in a pan, then add your flour. Stir for one minute then turn off the heat.
Pour a little bit of the milk into the pan and stir until it has blended in with the flour.
Repeat this process until all the milk is used up. Make sure you stir it well, it will turn into sauce eventually.
Turn the heat back on and bring to the boil. Stir it at all times (or else it’ll stick to the bottom of the pan). Cook for 5 mins.
Pour over the fish mix, season well, then mix it all together thoroughly, making sure the sauce coats everything.
Plop the mash totties on top of the fish mix, and spread out evenly with the back of a fork. Do the sides first to make sure it seals properly (I didn’t do this very well and the sauce managed to peek through).
Cover with as much (or as little) grated cheese as you like, then place under the grill for 15-20 mins (or until golden and bubbly).
And there you have fish pie!
My mum said she would good money for this in a restaurant. Thats good enough praise for me!
P.S – Happy Birthday to my wonderful twin Irene! xxx