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    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Leeks Again - Excellent Fish Pie

    I am re-posting this blog as I love this shot of my Grandson feeding his guinea Pig...Plus I'd forgotten how good this Fish Pie is
    My husband Dale is off cruising in Tonga...meanwhile I have been looking after grandchildren.
    He is swanning about in a 44ft yacht with our friend Geoff.
    Dale's culinary expertise basically is sandwiches and avocado on toast. I felt he needed a couple of lessons, so that he could contribute to the kitchen duties.
    He was a reluctant student but I did get him to fry an egg for a sandwich.
    He has learnt how to hard boil an egg (Martha's Method).

    We did three simple ways to cook fish...a very easy meat and tomato sauce for pasta.
    He was excited to learn how to cook rice and loves sticking his finger in the pot to judge the ratio of water to rice. Pre-cooking of course!
    I sent him off with sea salt and a pepper grinder. A packet of green Thai curry sauce. Some couscous and some garlic stock powder for extra flavour. And a couple of packets of Surprise green peas. Plus a tube of prepared basil...how much can one do with that?
    So he was off and I went to spend time with our grandchildren.
    I have been texting him over the last week or so...and was keen to see how the Kitchen Sailor was coping...it seems that what I taught him was considered to be girls food... and they are having Steak and Eggs, Bacon on toast and Fried fresh fish. As a change baked beans on toast and eating out.
    So there ya go!!!
    Geoff is cooking and fishing. Dale cleaning up and sailing I guess.

    Daughter-in-law Helen was off to the States to her brother's wedding on the East Coast.
    Taking 11 year old Sophia and leaving behind one husband and one son, 7 year old Joseph.
    So the boys needed a bit of help. It's been great fun.
    There have been many events so I am glad I didn't go to Tonga
    First 6 year old Mia's cross country race. She got a certificate for Determination earlier in the year. She is certainly showing it here, third on the right.

    Unfortunately she wasn't in the first three...but she was very pleased with her self.
    There was a performance at Joseph's school, each class performed a dance relating to the subject they are studying. His class is doing Spain. All dressed in red and black and lots of stamping and clapping.
    I took photos but I only had my phone and they were not great.
    But I do have shots of Joseph feeding Elvis the guinea pig. He has been very diligent. Sophia had left him instructions and he has been following them almost exactly.

    It dawned a beautiful Spring Saturday
    Dan and Joseph were off on a boys weekend to the uppermost piece of New Zealand...Cape Reinga 400 kms north of here.
    Boys on Tour.
    Joseph at the Cape Reinga Lighthouse
    This is where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea...Just like a washing machine bet it is impressive when there's a storm. Wow.
    They had a ball.
    Now back to food
    Leeks again just love them.

    Got this idea from Gary Rhodes. Actually it is quite different from his recipe.
    But I was inspired by his "Sea Bass with Carbonara Sauce"

    I loved the idea of the sauce, and of course it contained Leeks which is up there for me as a vege.
    Thought it would make a great fish pie. Particularly good for celiacs.
    No gluten at all.

    Have made a similar fish pie before but the difference here was the bacon.
    The flavour from the bacon is the secret.

    It needs a meaty fish. I used Bluenose. It is similar to grouper, wonderful flavour I love it.
    It is very good for oven baked dishes, it stays moist
    So
    150 gms fish per person
    2 tbs olive oil
    Sea salt and Freshly Ground black pepper


    1 tablespoon butter
    3 rashers bacon chopped
    3 tablespoons water

    2 leeks finely sliced
    1 carrot grated
    300 mls cream
    1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese

    Normally I would just place the fish in the sauce and bake it but in this case for extra flavour I sautéed the seasoned fish for a few minutes on each side in some olive oil,
    Place in gratin dish

    In a large saucepan or wok fry chopped bacon in a little oil
    Remove and set aside
    Add water and butter
    Then leeks and carrots
    Cover and allow to steam for a few minutes.
    Add the cream and bring to simmer until lightly thickened
    Add the 1 cup of Parmesan and half of the reserved bacon to the sauce.
    Season with freshly ground black pepper and taste, add salt if needed
    Pour over Fish
    Cover with remainder of Parmesan and the bacon
    and bake in hot oven 200C for about 15 minutes.
    Beautiful over steamed rice.
    Dale where are you? I need you to cook the rice.

    Of course I have also been spending time with Miss Cleo and yesterday we went to the park.
    Western Springs is close to the city.
    It consists of a speedway where some of the best outdoor concerts have been held.
    As I write this I am listening to Bos Scaggs on my computer. Fantastic!
    In 1978 he came to NZ and remain in my memory as one of the best concerts ever. I love this man.
    But I have digressed and continuing on Western Springs it has a beautiful lake and a gorgeous park. The Zoo is next door a haunt of ours.
    In all the time we have lived here I have never been into the park itself.
    There is a lovely lake probably the reason for Western Springs.
    There are lots of birds so Miss Cleo and I went for a walk.
    Almost like a bird sanctuary here.
    Of course the usual seagulls, pigeons, sparrows, hens, roosters, geese,herons, ducks and beautiful swans even baby cignets and ducklings.
    Swans swanning about
    She loved it.

    Pukekos below - a native New Zealand Bird...comical and colourful
    What fun!
    Couple of responsible parents looking after their babies. So sweet.
    So Western Springs we will be back... you are beautiful

    3 comments:

    Barbara said...

    Gilli come on over and teach Bryan to cook now.

    Arfi Binsted said...

    ha ha ha! reading barbara's comment makes me laugh. john can't cook either. well well well... how lucky you are, gilli!

    So Simple said...

    No evidence of the coking skills now ladies. Just me again.
    At least he might remember something.