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Cheese For Nursery Fish Pie

Asked by Cookingisdelicious. Answered on 5th April 2019

Full question

Hi! I have a couple of questions about the Nursery Fish Pie recipe. I've never had fish pie so I have no idea how it is supposed to turn out or what it is supposed to taste like.

My first question is: The recipe tells one to place the fish directly on the bottom of the baking dish without coating the bottom of the dish with some of the fish sauce or some other coating. Won't that cause the fish to stick to the pan or burn when the dish is baked in the oven?

And my second question is: The recipe calls for Cheddar cheese but does not mention the sharpness of the cheese (eg. mild, medium, sharp, extra sharp). It seems to me that the sharpness of the cheese would greatly affect the flavor of the dish. What is the level of sharpness that would best work with the dish?

Nursery Fish Pie
Photo by James Merrell
Nursery Fish Pie
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella's Nursery Fish Pie (from FEAST) is a traditional British-style fish pie, topped with mashed potatoes rather than pastry. It should be creamy, slightly smoky and soothing to eat and is seen by many as an encapsulation of comfort food. The cooked, flaked fish is put into the dish and the white sauce is poured over. The fish is not stirred into the sauce as that would break the flakes of fish up too much. The fish doesn't stick to the bottom of the dish as the sauce seeps underneath the fish when the pie is baked. However, if you prefer you could put a little sauce into the bottom of the dish before adding the flaked fish and pouring the remaining sauce over the top.

The Cheddar cheese is added to the sauce (with a little for the top of the pie) and you can use whatever strength you prefer. Mild Cheddar is not particularly good for this dish as it doesn't add much flavour, so we would opt for a sharp/mature Cheddar cheese.

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