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Smoked Fish For Fish Pie

Asked by RaziaV. Answered on 8th October 2020

Full question

I have pollack and salmon in the Nursery Fish Pie. I couldn't find smoked haddock. I was wondering whether I could add a small amount of kipper (like one or two kippers to nearly one and half kilos of white fish and salmon). Would this ruin it? The other option is to add just a little smoked salmon, but again I feel that might ruin it.

Nursery Fish Pie
Photo by James Merrell
Nursery Fish Pie
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Nursery Fish Pie (from FEAST) is made with a combination of white and smoked fish. The smoked haddock infuses some flavour into the cooking liquid, that is then used to make the sauce. If you can't get smoked haddock then smoked cod would be the best alternative. Otherwise we would suggest omitting smoked fish, just using the fresh salmon and white fish combination and seasoning the sauce well.

Smoked cod and haddock are only lightly smoked and need further cooking before they are eaten. This means that they retain their soft, flaky texture. Kippers, smoked mackerel and smoked salmon were traditionally smoked in order to help preserve them, so they have a much reduced water content and firmer texture and we don't think that their texture would be so nice in a fish pie. They also have a much more assertive flavour, which could be overpowering. To use up kippers you could add them instead of smoked mackerel in the Pasta With Mackerel, Marsala And Pine Nuts or as an alternative to smoked trout fillets in the Smoked Trout Pate.

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