Low-carb fish pie

Greetings! Yes I am still alive and still eating LCHF. It has been almost a year and a half (not sure where the time has gone) and my chronic migraines are a distant memory, thanks to this wonderful diet of…real food.

Followers of my blog will know that I have a shaky truce with fish. As well as cooking it in a sh!t-tonne of butter and mixing it with all manner of things to mask the flavour, I can now add fish pie to the list of Roxy-friendly fish meals. It will never be as stodgy and firm as a regular fish pie…so it’s definitely a winner! I added a couple of carrots to the mash just to mix it up a bit, but feel free to leave these out for even lower carbage.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the fish:
300 ml double cream
300 ml whole milk
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 salmon fillets (approx. 220 g)
1 smoked haddock fillet (approx. 230 g) – make sure it’s not the dyed stuff
150 g raw peeled king prawns

For the sauce:
30 g butter
1 leek, finely sliced
1 tsp xanthan gum
100 g cheddar cheese, grated
large bunch parsley, roughly chopped
100 g watercress, roughly chopped

For the mash topping:
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp milk
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

First, poach the fish. Place the onion, garlic, peppercorns, milk, cream and salt in a large frying pan and bring to a simmer. Add the salmon and haddock fillets and poach for 5 minutes until the fish is cooked and flakey. Remove the fish and set to one side to cool. Strain the poaching liquid into a bowl.

Once the fish is cool enough to handle, flake it into an oven dish (I made two smaller pies for an easy meal the next day), removing the skin and any pesky bones. Scatter the prawns over the fish and add the poached onion.

Meanwhile, boil the carrots in a pan for 5 minutes then add the cauliflower and cook until soft. Strain and set to one side until you’re ready to make the mash. To do this, add the egg yolks, cream and milk to the carrots and cauliflower, and blend with a stick blender until smooth.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the leeks until soft. Add the poaching liquid and the xanthan gum and stir until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the cheese and stir until melted.

Next, add the parsley and watercress and mix well. Season to taste. Take off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature (this will make the pie assemblage easier).

To assemble the pie pour the cooled sauce over the fish and spread the mash over the top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the mash has crustified and you can see the sauce bubbling up trying to escape.

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Low-carb paella

Some say pie-ella, some say pie-yay-ya (although I’m not entirely sure why). It’s pa-el-ya, people! Obviously swapping the rice for cauliflower is going to change the consistency (cauliflower doesn’t tend to soak up liquid), compared to a traditional paella, but this one managed to both smell and taste like one so two out of three isn’t bad.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
6 boneless & skinless chicken thighs, chunked
180 g raw king prawns
100 g cooking chorizo, chunked
1 small cauliflower, whizzed/grated
3 large garlic cloves, sliced
1 shallot/small onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
200 g green beans (optional)
400 ml chicken stock
A few strands of saffron soaked in 1 tbsp water
1 tsp smoked/sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Olive oil for frying

Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a shallow frying pan or paella dish, and brown the chicken pieces for 5-10 minutes then set to one side, leaving the oil and chicken fat in the pan. Fry the onion, garlic and chorizo for a few minutes until the onions are soft, and then add the chopped tomatoes.

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Once the tomatoes have turned mushy, add the sliced red pepper and continue to cook until the peppers have softened. Return the chicken to the pan, and add the prawns, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir until everything is coated. Mix the saffron (and it’s soaking water) with the chicken stock and add it to the pan, along with the green beans and whizzed/grated cauliflower.

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Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and some of the liquid has evaporated.

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