I wanted to be a chef once, used to do dinner for six, twelve and even twenty-five if the mood took me. But then I had children. The cooking part of my brain disappeared when I was pregnant and never, ever came back, and now regardless of what I serve up, it is invariably declared 'disgusting' by Miss 6. My will to cook, wavering after endless sleepless nights and an ill-fated attempt to cook rice cereal with my own breast milk, has gone entirely.
For this I apologise.
So, I shall call today's creation Twice Burnt Seafood Pie with Singed Leeks and Celery. If I was one of those food bloggy types I'd call my leeks and celery, over caramelised. But I'm not. I'm just tired.
Ingredients are thus...
2 tsp olive oil (glug of canola from bottle, couldn't find olive due to earlier plastic bag avalanche in pantry)
1 leek, thinly sliced, washed, drained (grew my own *smug grin,* also we may define 'thinly' slightly differently)
2 sticks celery, chopped (I went 1 stick, yes, living on the edge, me)
2 tbsp plain flour
1 cup reduced-fat milk (I just poured it in until the flour got to the right stage of gluey-ness)
200 g smoked cod, chopped (also remove skin and check for bones esp if cooking for kids)
300 g skinless salmon, chopped (as above)
12 individual king prawns, peeled (don't forget to pull out the poo-chutes)
1/2 cup frozen peas, (wow, peas, I had no idea they were needed in this recipe)
2 tsp lemon rind, grated
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Thyme (see, plug, admit it, I'm a marketing dream)
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Basil (more plugs, its like a sink around here)
Reduced-fat puff pastry, just thawed (thawed?? hmm, that would've helped)
1 medium egg, lightly beaten (I used milk, the Ladies's eggs are not to be wasted on glazing pastry)
Preheat oven to 220°C or 200°C fan-forced. (Is anyone actually this organised?)
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. (Turn stove onto full, put on pan, add oil of choice, ignore unless the smoke alarm goes off)
Add leek and celery and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. (Pah, add leeks and celery to dangerously hot oil, turn stove down, get distracted by cutting up fish and de-poo chuting prawns, smell burning, swear, add cup water, scrape burnt bits with wooden spoon. Get distracted by dog, children, husband, twitter, facebook, ebay etc... Repeat from 'smell burning.' Congratulations your pie is now twice burnt.)
Add flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. (If you can stir the resulting sludge then you are a better cook than me, but it is easier to see the burnt bits now)
Gradually add milk and ½ cup (125ml) water and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. (Turn down heat, desperately add more milk, and stir like mad to stop the whole thing sticking and burning even more, when it looks like glue and stops bubbling, you're there)
Reduce heat to low (oh, NOW you tell me)
Add cod, salmon and king prawns and cook for 5 minutes or until just cooked through.
Add frozen peas, lemon rind and herbs, stirring to combine. (I put in herbs ages ago, so I could pretend burnty bits were actually herby bits)
Spoon seafood mixture into prepared ramekins. (But what if you can only find one ramekin? I have four, I do. But just never all in the same place at the same time)
Cut pastry into 4 squares.
Brush edges of ramekins with egg.
Place pastry over filling and trim edges, pressing to seal.
Brush tops with remaining egg.
Using a fork or skewer, lightly pierce tops to allow steam to escape.
Place ramekins on a baking tray.
Bake for 25–30 minutes or until puffed and golden. (Don't forget and burn the pastry, just sayin)
Twice Burnt Seafood Pie with Singed Leeks and Celery
Hubs: Loved it
Me: Actually it was really nice, the prawns and the salmon saved it
Miss Nearly 8: I'm not eating that (she ate the lot)
Miss 6: Disgusting (she ate the pastry)
Louise Next Door: Smells lovely (she dropped in too late to eat any ;))
Next stop Masterchef...