Consider this a new-school take on the classic fish pie. The potato topping remains, but it's remixed into a layered crown of thin, crisp potato slices; the fish filling, meanwhile, is swimming with the best of the ocean's catch. A range of fish is suitable for this pie, such as blue-eye trevalla, snapper, salmon or pink ling. Avoid mackerel or grenadier as they're too strongly flavoured.
- 1 kg Cloudy Bay diamond shell clams, purged (see note)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 80 gm slightly salted butter, plus extra, melted, for brushing
- 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp dry-roasted fennel seeds
- 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
- 70 gm plain flour
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 500 ml (2 cups) fish stock
- 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream
- 100 gm finely grated parmesan
- 2½ tbsp each finely chopped dill, flat-leaf parsley and chervil
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 700 gm large squid hoods, cleaned, cut into thick rings
- 1 kg blue-eye trevalla fillets, cut into 5cm pieces
- 12 large green prawns, peeled, heads removed and deveined, tails intact
- 2 small Desiree potatoes (120gm each), thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 1Heat a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add clams to hot dry pan; cover with a lid and cook, shaking the pan until clams just open (4 minutes). Drain over a bowl and discard cooking liquid. Cool, then remove meat from shells; discard shells and squeeze excess liquid from clams. Set aside.
- 2Heat oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add shallots, garlic, fennel and seeds and cook, stirring until fennel begins to soften (5 minutes). Deglaze pan with wine and reduce to a syrup. Add flour, and stir continuously for 30 seconds to toast the flour but not colour it. Add saffron with the stock then add cream. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously until thickened (15 minutes). (The sauce should be very thick as the seafood will release a lot of juices during cooking.) Remove from heat and stir in parmesan, herbs and lemon zest. Spoon sauce into a 24cm x 35cm ovenproof dish. Evenly distribute seafood through the sauce.
- 3Preheat oven to 200°C fan-forced. Arrange potato slices, slightly overlapping, over seafood. Brush potatoes with extra melted butter and season to taste. Bake until seafood is cooked and potato is lightly golden (30 minutes).
Cloudy Bay clams are available from select seafood shops. If unavailable, substitute mussels, pipis or vongole. To purge clams, soak in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes before cooking.