Caribbean Fish Pie

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Kids love this for the luscious coconut and sweet potato mash on top. The colours are great, with the green spinach and coriander, flakes of white fish and orange topping. You could also use prepared saltfish (see The Caribbean Kitchen) or a mixture of saltfish and ordinary fillets.

Ingredients

  • 600 ml (1 pint) milk
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) skinned white fish fillets, such as haddock, cod or coley
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 50 g ( oz) block creamed coconut, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • about limes, juiced
  • leaves from a large bunch of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
  • 250 g (9 oz) young leaf spinach, washed
  • 1 × quantity Caribbean Mash

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Warm the milk and thyme in a saucepan large enough to hold the fish until it reaches boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave to one side to infuse for about 30 minutes.
  2. Put the fish in the infused milk. Bring to the boil, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Remove the fish (reserve the milk) and divide into large flakes. Discard the thyme.
  3. Make the sauce by melting half the butter in a large saucepan and adding the flour. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes over a low heat. Gradually add the warm milk from cooking the fish, whisking all the time to avoid lumps. When it thickens, stir in the creamed coconut until it melts into the sauce. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice to taste - some may like a stronger taste of citrus in the sauce than others. Add the coriander, if using. Stir in the spinach so it just wilts in the heat of the sauce. Stir in the fish very gently so it stays in the largest possible flakes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  4. Put the fish mixture in an ovenproof dish about as big as an A4 piece of paper. Top with the Caribbean Mash and dot with the remaining butter. Put on a baking sheet (this will save you cleaning the oven in case of spillages) and cook in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes until bubbling hot.