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.

Advertisements

Thai-style LCHF fishcakes

You know me, I’m always trying to find ways of making fish less fishy. These fishcakes are certainly a good addition to my fish repertoire, and I do love those Thai flavours! I have cheated somewhat by using pre-prepared ginger puree and lemongrass paste, but this does keep the dish nice and quick for a mid-week meal with no faffing about with those pesky lemongrass stalks. Keeping one of the salmon fillets chunky gives these fishcakes a great texture.

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 salmon fillets (remove bones and skin)
1 tbsp ginger puree
1 tbsp lemongrass paste
2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp coriander leaf, chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or chilli powder)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy/tamari sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
Coconut oil (or ghee) for shallow-frying

Dice one of the salmon fillets, and blend the other to a paste using a food processor.

IMG_5141IMG_5142

Combine, add the remaining ingredients, and mix well. Leave to marinate whilst you prepare your chosen side dish – I opted for a green salad.

IMG_5149IMG_5154

Once you’re ready to eat, heat the coconut oil in a frying pan, shape the mixture into small patties (I just rolled some into a ball and then squashed it in the pan), and fry for a couple of minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of your patties, mine were approx 2 cm thick), until they are golden and springy to the touch.

Serve with a peppery green salad, tossed with some toasted sesame seeds, a few flaked almonds and a zingy dressing.

IMG_5167IMG_5176

Making fish edible

I don’t like fish*. It’s too fishy. Plus there are all the bones, and the slimy skin… *shudder*. However, people keep telling me it is good for me. Plus it’s great for LCHF, especially oily fish (which are, of course, the fishiest of them all).

Then there is salmon. It’s an oily fish without the fishiness…but it is salmony (another flavour that does not appeal). Hmph.

So, to make some salmon less salmony I used the butter-garlic-lemon formula, and whilst there was an inordinate amount of bone paranoia on my part, I finished every mouthful – skin and all.

If, like me, you’re not the biggest fish fan, try this – you might be surprised.

Butter fried salmon

Ingredients:
2 boneless salmon fillets
A LOT of butter (see picture, the fillets should be swimming in it) – I think there was about 100 g in there.
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper

For the beans:
300 g green beans
50 g sliced almonds
50 g butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper

First, prepare the green beans. Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan (we tried to toss them like they do on the telly, but we just ended up getting almonds all over the hob. Probably best to use a spoon to turn them over), and steam or boil the beans for a couple of minutes. Set to one side and prepare the fish.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, and continue heating until it starts to foam (rather like when you make fondant potatoes). Add the salmon fillets, skin side down, along with the garlic and seasoning. Without moving the salmon (you want a nice crispy skin), baste the fillets with the butter. Continue basting for a few minutes, or until the fillets are cooked (until the flesh is opaque). Take off the heat, and stir in the lemon juice.

IMG_9881IMG_9883IMG_9885

Meanwhile, finish the beans. Melt the butter in a pan and sautee the beans for a couple of minutes (just to heat through). Then stir in the almonds, lemon juice and seasoning, making sure everything is coated.

Serve with the beans and plenty of lemony garlicky butter.

IMG_9889

*not to be confused with seafood. Love it.