individual fish pies with leeks

Lindsey Bareham

It makes an attractive change to have your own shepherd’s or chicken pie, an idea that works particularly well with this very simple French-style fish pie with its crusty cheese and breadcrumb topping. It is very good, as most fish pies are, with peas.

serves 2, prep 15 min, cook 40 min

400g trimmed leeks
25g butter
100ml white wine
2 thick fillets cod or haddock
4 tbsp crème fraîche
2 tbsp fine white bread crumbs
2 tbsp finely grated grana Padano or Parmesan

Halve the leeks lengthways, hold the pieces together and finely slice into half moons. Agitate in cold water to loosen any grit. Drain. Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Melt the butter in a spacious, lidded frying pan over a medium-low heat and stir in the leeks. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook, stirring a couple of times, for about 8 min until sloppy and soft.

Add the wine and simmer briskly, uncovered, for further 10 min or until juicy rather than wet. Spoon the leeks into 2 small gratin dishes. Pat the skinned, boned fish dry and place over the leeks. Spread crème fraîche over the top to cover. Dredge with breadcrumbs mixed with cheese. Bake for 30 min or until the crust is crisp and golden and the fish cooked through.