I’m totally converted to this instead of a potato topped fish pie. It tastes so much more indulgent and to be honest if my choice is peeling, boiling and mashing a load of spuds or whipping some egg whites, I’ll take the egg whites thanks.
And that is pretty much the only difference here. The basis of a souffle is more or less just a bechamel sauce and you’d be making one of those for the pie anyway, so why not get a bit fancy for very little extra effort?
If you can, then try not to use frozen fish and seafood in this as it releases loads of water when it cooks which can thin out your sauce and leave it runny.
750g mixed seafood and chunks of firm white fish (I used haddock, king prawns and bay scallops)
1 small onion
375ml whole milk
125g strong cheese, grated (I used a mix of mature cheddar and double Gloucester)
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs + 1 extra white
3 tbsp chopped chives.
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c.
Peel and dice the onion and carrot so that they are quite small and then gently fry them in a little oil over a low heat. You want them to become tender but not colour.
In a separate medium-sized saucepan melt the butter over a low heat. Toss in the flour and stir to give you a roux. Cook for a minute or two. Measure out 250ml of the milk and very gradually add this to the roux, stirring between each addition, to ensure that the liquid is absorbed and you don’t end up with lumps in the sauce. Once you’ve added the full 250ml of milk and have a silky smooth white sauce you can add the cheese and then stir the sauce until it has all melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. It should be very thick.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour half of the sauce into the pan with the carrots and onion then gradually stir in the remaining 125ml of milk over a low heat. Take the pan off the heat and mix through the fish and seafood before transferring the whole lot to an oven proof baking dish.
Put the egg whites into a very clean bowl and whisk them until they hold a stiff peak. Put these to one side.
Beat the egg yolks and chives into the other half of your sauce base. Take a big spoonful of the whipped egg white and mix this into the sauce to lighten it. Then, using a large metal spoon gently fold in 1/3 of the remaining egg white, then another 1/3 and then the last 1/3. Make sure that you don’t knock too much air out of it.
Pour this foamy topping over the fish mixture and then bake it for 40-45 minutes. The top should puff up and become wonderfully golden. Serve the pie as soon as it is cooked.