This is a perfect recipe for entertaining and wouldn’t need anything to go with it other than a simple green salad.
The fish can be varied according to what’s available as long as you have 2¼ lb (1 kg) in total.
This recipe is from The Delia Collection: Fish. Serves 4-6
For the fish mixture:
5 fl oz (150 ml) dry white wine
10 fl oz (275 ml) carton of fish stock
1 bay leaf
1½ lb (700 g) halibut
2 oz (50 g) butter
2 oz (50 g) plain flour
2 level tablespoons crème fraîche
6 cornichons (Continental gherkins), drained, rinsed and chopped
1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 level dessertspoon chopped fresh dill
salt and freshly milled black pepper
8 oz (225 g) king scallops, including the coral, cut in half
4 oz (110 g) uncooked tiger prawns, thoroughly defrosted if frozen, and peeled
For the rösti caper topping:
2 lb (900 g) Désirée or Romano potatoes, evenly sized if possible
1 level tablespoon salted capers or capers in brine, drained, rinsed and dried
2 oz (50 g) butter, melted
2 oz (50 g) strong cheddar cheese, finely grated
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C). 200°C fan
You will also need a baking dish about 2 inches (5 cm) deep of 2½ pint (1.5-litre) capacity, well buttered.
First of all, prepare the potatoes by scrubbing them, but leaving the skins on.
As they all have to cook at the same time, if there are any larger ones cut them in half. Then place them in a saucepan with enough boiling, salted water to barely cover them and cook them for 12 minutes after they have come back to the boil, covered with the lid. Strain off the water and cover them with a clean tea cloth to absorb the steam.
Meanwhile, heat the wine and fish stock in a medium saucepan, add the bay leaf and some seasoning, then cut the halibut in half if it’s a large piece, add it to the saucepan and poach the fish gently for 5 minutes. It should be slightly undercooked. Then remove the fish to a plate, using a draining spoon, and strain the liquid through a sieve into a bowl.
Now rinse the pan you cooked the fish in, melt the butter in it, whisk in the flour and gently cook for 2 minutes. Then gradually add the strained fish stock little by little, whisking all the time. When you have a smooth sauce, turn the heat to its lowest setting and let the sauce gently cook for 5 minutes. Then, whisk in the crème fraîche, followed by the cornichons, parsley and dill. Give it all a good seasoning and remove it from the heat.
To make the rösti, peel the potatoes and, using the coarse side of a grater, grate them into long shreds into a bowl. Then add the capers and the melted butter and, using two forks, lightly toss everything together so that the potatoes get a good coating of butter. Now remove the skin from the white fish and divide it into chunks, quite large if possible, and combine the fish with the sauce.
Next, if you’re going to cook the fish pie more or less immediately, all you do is add the raw scallops and prawns to the fish mixture then spoon it into a well-buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the rösti on top, spreading it out as evenly as possible and not pressing it down too firmly. Then, finally scatter the cheese over the surface and bake on a high shelf of the oven for 35-40 minutes.
If you want to make the fish pie in advance, this is possible as long as you remember to let the sauce get completely cold before adding the cooled white fish and raw scallops and prawns. When the topping is on, cover the dish loosely with clingfilm and refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook it.
Then give it an extra 5-10 minutes’ cooking time.