Sinful and Rich and Full of Fish!

In 2014 I was lucky enough to qualify for World Food Championship in Las Vegas by winning a recipe contest in the seafood category. 

Once I got to Las Vegas to compete in the tournament-style contest, I was fortunate once again to have Alaska Seafood Company provide the fish. Talk about quality fish, and I knew I had to do it justice by making something special. I came up with this Seafood Pie recipe that brought back memories of the previous year from a cooking trip my husband James and I made to Scotland. 

Image result for edinburgh seafood pie rose street wildfire

The restaurant was Wildfire, and it was recommended by a Travel Agent on a train ride we were on. Just look how beautiful it looks on the outside-pretty as a picture!

 

Image result for edinburgh seafood pie rose street wildfire

 

The restaurant did not disappoint, and the seafood pie (which the Travel Agent also highly recommended) was full of fresh fish and smothered in a creamy white sauce and topped with yummy and rich mash (potatoes, that is). 

Image result for edinburgh seafood pie rose street wildfire

I would call this dish simple and true. Straight forward and comforting. That’s what I wanted to prepare for the judges at WFC that year.

I poached salmon and cod in poaching milk and fresh bay leaves along with some onion. I truly have no clue how Wildfire prepared their seafood pie, but I knew I wanted the fish to remain delicate and flaky. 

I made my sauce with white wine and dill and topped the creamy mash topping with some cheese to add contrast in color, texture and flavor. It catapulted me to the Top 10 and finally winning 7th place in the Seafood Category that year, which I don’t consider too shabby, if I may say so myself!

Here’s my rendition of my Scottish memory in recipe form. 

Sinfully Rich Seafood Pie
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Ingredients
  1. 6 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 2-inch pieces
  2. 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. ½ cup whole milk
  4. 4 ounces cream cheese
  5. 1 cup finely shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided
  6. 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  7. ½ teaspoon black pepper
Poaching Liquid
  1. 4 cups whole milk
  2. 1 large white onion, sliced thick
  3. 2 fresh bay leaves
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. ½ teaspoon black pepper
  6. 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Fish
  1. 1 pound fresh Salmon
  2. 1 pound fresh Cod
  3. 1 lemon
  4. 1 Tablespoon small capers
Cream Sauce
  1. 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 4 Tablespoons flour
  3. Reserved poaching milk
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. ½ teaspoon black pepper
  6. ¼ cup white wine
  7. Small bunch fresh dill
Instructions
  1. To make the mashed potatoes, place potatoes in a saucepan and add cold water to cover 2 inches above potatoes. Add 1 Tablespoon salt and cook on high until boiling. Reduce heat to medium high and continue to cook 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain potatoes well. Add 2 Tablespoons butter, milk, ¾ cup cheddar cheese (reserving ¼ cup for top), cream cheese, salt and pepper. Mash well or beat with an electric mixer just until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  2. To poach the fish, add 4 cups milk to a large pan. Place onion slices on the bottom and add bay leaves, salt and pepper. Turn to medium high heat until milk is almost boiling, then reduce heat to medium. Meanwhile, make cuts in salmon all the way to the skin but not cutting through. Cut cod into large 3-inch pieces. Place fish in hot milk and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, gently turning once, just until fish barely starts to flake. Remove fish to a dish and remove bay leaves and onion from milk and discard, keeping poaching liquid for the sauce.
  3. Gently remove the salmon skin with your fingertips, breaking fish into large pieces. Place salmon and cod in the bottom of the prepared dishes. Cut lemon in half and squeeze 1 half over fish, saving other half for garnish. Top with capers.
  4. To make the cream sauce, heat a medium saucepan on medium high heat and add butter. When butter is melted, add flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, being careful not to brown. Gradually add reserved poaching liquid, stirring, until thickened (you may not use all the liquid). Add salt, pepper and wine. Chop 1 Tablespoon dill, add to sauce and stir. Taste sauce and add salt and pepper if needed. Using a ladle, spoon cream sauce evenly over fish and capers. Gently stir.
  5. Place mashed potatoes into a large piping bag with a large star tip and pipe on outer edges of each pie, leaving middle uncovered. Sprinkle potatoes lightly with remaining ¼ cup cheddar cheese. Placing on top rack in oven, bake 20 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly browned and cheese is melted. SANDI: Garnish with thin slices of reserved half of the lemon and fresh dill springs. Serves 8
Paula Todora http://paulatodora.com/

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