by Chef Lucia Watson
This hearty dish is particularly welcome after a winter day on ice or open water. I make the recipe using walleye, although any white fish such as crappie, perch, or pike will do.
2 lbs. filleted fish cut into 2-inch pieces (deboned)
1 med. onion, peeled and diced
3 sm. carrots, diced
1 sm. bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dry or 1 tbsp. freshly chopped thyme
salt and pepper
21„2 c. milk
2 tbsp. butter
21„4 c. mushrooms, sliced
Dash of cayenne
2 tbsp. flour
Splash of cream
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Splash of sherry or white wine
Mashed potatoes or seasoned bread crumbs mixed with parmesan cheese
1. Melt 2 tbsp. of butter in heavy sautépan. Add onion, carrots, and mushrooms and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally until juicy and tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir. Cook a few more minutes.
3. Add milk, white wine, salt, pepper, thyme, cayenne, bay leaf, and a splash of cream. Cook, stirring frequently over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning, then add the fish and parsley. Cook 5 minutes or until fish is just barely cooked.
5. Spoon into one large (or 6 small) buttered ovenproof dish. (The recipe can be prepared ahead, up to this point.)
6. Spoon the mashed potatoes decoratively over the pie, or sprinkle with the bread crumbs and parmesan. Drizzle with extra butter if desired.
7. Bake at 350°F to brown the potato crust, about 15 minutes if the filling and potatoes are warm, 30 minutes if cold.
Serve Irish Fish Pie accompanied with a simple green salad. Serves six.