Christmas Eve Hot Smoked Salmon Pie
This would be my choice for Christmas Eve supper – done and dusted in the morning, or even the day before, then just whisked out of the fridge and into the oven. Fresh, shelled, imported peas involve no work and make an excellent accompaniment, as does stem broccoli with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
|2 x 160 g Waitrose Scottish hot smoked salmon fillets|
|1 large egg|
|1 x 350 g tub Waitrose fresh cheese sauce|
|2 tablespoons crème fraîche|
|juice of 1 lemon|
|2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley|
|1 tablespoon capers, rinsed in cold water and patted dry|
|6 cornichons, roughly chopped|
|1 x 450 g pack Waitrose creamy mash|
|1 oz (25 g) Gruyère cheese, grated or whizzed in a mini chopper|
|1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
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Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 400ºF (200ºC). Place the egg in cold water, bring it to the boil and boil for 7 minutes, before cooling it under running water. Meanwhile, take the skin off the salmon, break the fish into largish pieces and put into an ovenproof dish. I use a 7-in (18-cm) square dish, but an oval dish of a similar size would do. Peel the shell off the egg and chop it roughly before adding it to the dish to join the salmon.
Mix together the cheese sauce, crème fraîche, lemon juice, parsley, capers and cornichons. Season with a little salt and plenty of pepper and spoon the sauce over the salmon. Now spoon blobs of mashed potato all over the salmon, use a palette knife to spread it evenly over the surface and then make some indentations to form a pattern. Just run the palette knife in lines, pressing it down at 1 in (2.5 cm) intervals. Sprinkle the 2 cheeses all over the surface of the potato, then place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown and the sauce underneath is bubbling. Leave the pie to settle for 10 minutes out of the oven while you cook the vegetables to go with it.
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