Oscar Night: Fish Pie

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Haven’t had a chance to blog for a while, but here comes my oscar night review. I almost never sit through the whole program. Actually, if I hadn’t made such plans to cook an Oscar Night meal, I might not have watched any of it. No real surprises. I was pleased that Trent Reznor won best original score. Meh. That’s it.

The meal was fantastic though. Fish pie made with a scalloped potato crust instead of mashed. Not a whole lot to look at, but the taste is rich and satisfying thanks to the addition of smoked salmon, the bacon of the fish world, mixed with more delicate, economical cod. I caramelized some pureed onion and celery before adding to the filling with copious amounts of parsley. The other half of the filling is a simple bechamel. Serve with a glass of white wine or beer and piece of crusty  bread.

Fish Pie


  • 1 lb white fish (could be cod, halibut or tilapia)
  • a few slices of smoked salmon
  • 3 red skin potatoes
  • 4-6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/5 cups milk
  • 1 onion
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • salt


Dice onion, garlic and celery and pulse in a food processor into a fine pulp. Add to a saucepan with a little bit of olive oil. Salt and pepper, and saute until the  mixture begins to become translucent.  Put aside.

Make a bechamel by melting the butter in a saucepan, while scalding the milk in a separate pot. Stir flour into the butter and cook for a minute or two before slowly adding the hot milk. Lower heat, and stir until thick (about 8 minutes). Add  mustard, nutmeg. Add a handful of chopped parsley. Set aside.

To prepare the fish, cut into bite-size pieces, salt and pepper.  Tear up salmon pieces to add to the cod.

Leaving the skins on, slice red-skin potatoes into thin slices (the thinner the better).

Combine the fish with the bechamel, add the cooked veggies and smoked salmon. Spread into a baking dish. Cover with potato slices and a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Bake for an hour at 375 until the potatoes are crisp and cooked through.