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October 1, 2007 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]


To be honest I have been stuck for recipe ideas this week, mostly because it is Sunday night and I am desperate to go to bed, don’t want to go to work tomorrow, am supposed to be working on two big assignments due asap, and can hardly type anyway as the weekend was spent docking lambs at my boyfriend’s parents’ farm. I was about to have a wee meltdown when it occurred to me that relaying what I cooked for dinner tonight could work. This recipe is one that I often make when my brain isn’t really functioning and I want something comforting. So, as you may be able to deduce, I make it quite a lot.

Low-Rent Fish Pie

I adapted this from a recipe found in a book called “The Best of Cooking for New Zealand” (a book with brilliant recipes that belie its bland title). It used fish fillets which I substituted for tinned tuna – an ingredient, I suspect, more likely to be found in a student’s kitchen.

Because I fiddle with it each time it gets made it really bears little resemblance to the original recipe. Still, credit where credit’s due.

1 tin of tuna, drained
30g butter
1⁄2 cup frozen peas
2 T flour
Half a head of broccoli, sliced
1 Cup Milk
Bread and butter (optional)

Empty the tuna, broccoli and peas into a 2 litre pyrex or similar (smaller is okay too) In a pot, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Add the milk slowly and stir till it thickens and becomes white sauce. Here you could add some grated cheese if you can be bothered.

Immediately pour over the tuna and veges, stir a bit, and pop in the oven (180C) for about ten minutes. Pa-dah. Now, it is fine and dandy like this, but I like to add a breadcrumb topping, usually done by toasting some bread, crumbling it up over the fish pie, dotting over butter and popping back in the oven for another ten or so minutes.

Serve with rice.

This recipe isn’t a fixed thing. As long as there is tuna and white sauce, you can add what you like. I always have frozen peas around, but I also have in the past used to good effect the following:

Chopped celery
Grated carrot
Chopped up cauliflower
A drained tin of budget chopped asparagus (have no idea what possessed me to buy it in the first place, but it worked well here anyway)

A pinch of mustard powder stirred into the flour and butter at the start, and very unconventionally (and for goodness sake don’t feel you have to rush out and buy it), a splash of sake in the white sauce, which makes it taste amazing. I don’t think I have used my sake for anything even slightly Asian yet – I am too busy putting it in white sauce.


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