This Seafood Pie has salmon, shrimp and cod in a fennel cream sauce topped with browned mashed potatoes. Definitely fit for company!
There are a few steps involved, some of which you can do ahead, that build layers of flavour. It freezes well though so if you want to serve it for company you can make it ahead so you are not chained to the kitchen the day of serving it.
This recipe works best in fall and winter when celeriac is in season. It makes a great pot luck or buffet item. If you can't find celeriac you could just use another 8 oz of potatoes for the topping.
You can use 2 ½ pounds of the fish or seafood you like best. I used salmon, shrimp and cod. You could add in or exchange some for scallops or even lobster meat if you like.
Seafood can release a lot of liquid when cooking so it is important to take a handful of seafood at a time over your sink and gently squeeze out the moisture and transfer to paper towel. This is especially important if you have defrosted any of it.
I made this in two different serving styles. I served it once in scallop shells à la Coquille St. Jacques and one as a family -style casserole. If you use the scallop shells it will cook faster.
Fennel cream and puree can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge. You will not be able to pipe the potato topping if it has been refrigerated. You can gently warm it up enough to spread evenly over the top of the seafood base.
You can assemble the entire Seafood Pie and freeze. Reheat from frozen at 350 degrees, covered with foil for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue heating another 25 minutes until the seafood is cooked and the topping is heated through.
Wine Pairing with Company's Coming Seafood Pie
If you are serving this as part of a holiday meal then consider serving it with
Desiderius Pongrácz Brut Cap Classique Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noir
Western Cape, South Africa VINTAGES#: 404111 $16.95
This sparkling has generous toasty bread notes on the nose and palate. Quite lively and a little bit spicy with great tension and acidity. Remember this one for your holiday oyster pairing! For that matter make it your Holiday house sparkling at this price! Very good value. Tasted Nov 22, 2019 www.thewineloverskitchen.com 90
The delicate flavours here of the fennel cream and the seafood would also work well with a crisp, lemony white wine. Look for a Chardonnay with a light, crisp profile, a Chenin Blanc or a Sauvignon Blanc from California with more of a fruity than herbal profile.
If you are a die hard red fan then go light like rosé, Valpolicella or Pinot Noir.
- 1 small head fennel
- 1 ½ cups 18% cream
- 2 lbs potatoes peeled and cut into 2" cubes
- 8 oz celeriac peeled and cut into 2" cubes
- ½ cup unsalted butter divided ¼ and ¼
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 egg yolks lightly beaten
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion halved and thinly sliced
- ½ cup vermouth
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 4 Tbsps herbed cream cheese (I used Garlic and Fine Herbs)
- 1 lb large shrimp peeled, tail off and deveined
- 1 lb salmon fillets
- ½ lb cod fillet see Recipe Note #1
Fried Leek Garnish (optional)
- 1 leek thinly, thinly sliced white part only
- olive oil to cover leeks
- Remove stalks and fronds from fennel. Chop and reserve fronds. Discard stalks. Cut fennel bulb into quarters and transfer to a small pot. Add the cream and season with salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes until fennel is tender. When cooled a bit add the bulb and ¼ cup of fennel cream to the blender. Puree until smooth. Reserve the puree and the remaining fennel cream. The puree is going to go into the potato topping and the remaining cream will go in the seafood base.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potato and celeriac cubes and cook about 25 minutes until tender. Drain and allow to sit in strainer a few minutes so they are good and dry. Pass through a potato ricer or mash finely in a large bowl.
- Melt ¼ cup of butter gently in the microwave and add to the potato mixture along with the fennel puree. Then add the nutmeg, lemon zest and egg yolks. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut fish and seafood if necessary into about 1" pieces so they are fairly uniform. (Shrimp and bay scallops if using can be left whole). Gently squeeze any excess liquid from the seafood using your fist over your sink. Transfer to a paper towel. This is especially important if any of you seafood has been defrosted.
- Melt remaining ¼ cup of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and allow to cook about 10 minutes until translucent. Add the vermouth and increase the heat to medium high. Cook until no liquid remains. Then sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to coat the onions.
- Take 1 cup of the reserved fennel cream and add to the pan slowly, stirring constantly. Once the fennel cream is smooth add the milk, whisking until it is incorporated and there are no lumps. Bring to a boil and cook a few minutes to thicken. Add the cream cheese and reserved fronds. Stir till well combined.
- Spray a 9 X 13" deep baking dish with cooking spray. Distribute the seafood mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan. Add the hot cream mixture and stir to coat the seafood. Spread of pipe the potato mixture over the top.
- Bake about 45 minutes. If the potato topping has not browned sufficiently broil 4-5 minutes til it starts to turn brown.
- Note: If you serve this in individual ramekins or scallop shells check for doneness after 30 minutes.
Fried Leek Garnish
- Heat olive oil in a skillet. Test with a small piece of leek. Oil should sizzle when leek hits it. When oil is hot enough fry leeks until they turn golden brown 5-7 minutes. Remove leeks with slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel. Sprinkle evenly over casserole. (Retain leek-flavoured oil for another use such as salad dressing or for frying).