Fish Pie and Chocolate Chestnut Puddings

by grainnep

Listening to the radio, I heard Ian Dempsey say that the average person consumes 6,000 calories on Christmas day between food and drink. These recipes are not going to do anything to bring that number down but in my defence we did have a long walk before we came home, sat by the fire after enjoying both these. Perfect food for a cold day  – you might need to start the new leaf pretty soon though! 🙂

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Self Saucing Chocolate Chestnut puddings
Makes 6 (too) big portions or 8 smaller ones
Oven at 170C
340gm brown sugar
140gm butter, softened
2 eggs
100gm sweetened chestnut purée
225gm gluten free self-raising flour
65gm cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
30ml dark rum
225ml milk
140gm good quality dark chocolate (61% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped

Beat 200gm of the brown sugar and butter until pale and creamy, add the eggs and chestnut purée and beat to combine.
Sift over flour, 50gm of the cocoa and baking powder, mix to combine, then stir in rum, milk, and chocolate. Divide among 8 lightly buttered ovenproof ramekins and set aside.
Combine remaining brown sugar and cocoa in a bowl, gradually add 300ml boiling water and stir until smooth and combined. Pour over the batter, dividing equally among ramekins,then bake until risen and a skewer withdraws clean about 15 minutes.

Fish Pie with Brown Butter Potato Topping
Serves 4
700g fish, e.g. smoked haddock, coley
625ml milk
½ onion
1 bay leaf
6 pepper corns
2 juniper berries
Pinch of saffron
100g butter
50g plain flour
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Topping
900g freshly mashed potatoes with lots of butter, salt and pepper
50gm milk
1tbsp thyme finely chopped

Oven at 180C
Place the milk, onion, bay leaf, juniper berry, saffron and pepper corns in a large saucepan and bring to a very gentle boil.
Reduce to a low simmer, add the fish and cook gently for about 3 minutes.
Remove the fish from the pan, allow to cool a little and flake into bite-sized pieces being careful to remove the bones.
Sieve the cooking liquid and retain for the sauce.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour
Cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the time until golden brown and the flour is cooked out. Gradually stir in the fish cooking liquid, continue stirring until the mixture thickens and is smooth, season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for a few minutes.
Add the fish to the sauce to and taste for seasoning.
Add the fish mix to an oven proof dish and spread with the potatoes.
Melt the butter over a hot heat, remove the milk solids as it melts and cook until it is a nutty brown. Spoon over the potatoes, sprinkle over the thyme and season.
Tip into the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and heated through.