During the early half of my teendom, my number one crush was Brad Renfro. Once I hit 15, it was all Jamie Oliver, all the time.
That was around the age I started spending my weekends watching Food Network for roughly 6 hours at a time. I loved that his show and cookbooks were called the Naked Chef (how scandalous!) and that he had a goofy little lisp.
The first cookbook I ever bought on my own with my own money was The Naked Chef Takes Off. Whenever I get a new cookbook, I always read it cover to cover and mark all the recipes that speak to me in those skinny post-It notes. I can confirm that this is a practice that began with Jamie’s book, because to this day, there is a small faded paper tab on the recipe for Fantastic Fish Pie.
During quarantine, when inspiration was fraying and monotony was in large supply, Charlie and I have started looking through a few cookbooks each weekend to spice up our meal planning. It’s also an easier way for me to delegate certain dinners to him. Which is how he found himself a few weeks ago making Jamie Oliver’s fish pie recipe.
Now that I’m a more seasoned home cook, I can say that there are a few steps that could have been streamlined. Though, as a fellow cookbook author who looks back on early work with horror, my guess is Jamie would probably say the same thing.
Regardless, what came out of our kitchen that day was so mind-blowingly delicious, I knew it would become part of our regular rotation.
When I tried to make it myself recently, I tweaked the instructions to reduce the number of pots and pans used, replaced the heavy cream with coconut cream, omitted the cheese, and added a higher volume of vegetables to the base.
The end result was dairy-free and gluten-free, but no less delicious. And very easy to adapt to a low FODMAP diet. Best of all, it’s a great way to use cheaper frozen fish fillets like haddock, hake or cod, which we keep on hand to supplement the local fish we get at the farmer’s market.
The hard boiled eggs might seem like a weird thing to add to a fish dish, but trust me that they add the most wonderful creaminess—do not skip this step!
Since St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, I thought this fish pie might be a perfect option for the shepherds who don’t eat meat. I’m teaching a virtual cooking class that night and making the shepherd’s pie from the book, but you could still join us and swap in this filling!
Though my hall passes have evolved over the years, this fish pie recipe is proof that my heart still burns for Jamie as much now as ever.
Read on for the recipe for this healthy & fantastic fish pie.
With health and hedonism,
Jamie Oliver's Fantastic Fish Pie (Gluten-Free + Low FODMAP)
- 2 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
- Sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- Olive oil
- 1 leek halved and thinly sliced (optional, see note)
- 1 large carrot diced
- 1 cup coconut cream or the thicker half of a can of full fat coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 pound haddock cod or hake fillets (skin removed), cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley divided
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then carefully add the eggs. Boil for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
Drain the potatoes in a colander, shaking out the excess moisture, then return to the pot. Mash the potatoes coarsely with a fork or potato masher. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and taste for seasoning. Don’t worry if they look dry and crumbly, but feel free to add a splash of stock! Set aside.
When the hard boiled eggs are cool enough, remove the shell and cut them into quarters.
Meanwhile in a large (12 to 15 inch) oven-safe skillet or casserole dish, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the leeks and carrots until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut cream and bring to a simmer. Off the heat, whisk in the lemon juice, Dijon and ½ teaspoon salt. Fold in the spinach until wilted. Then add the peas, fish, eggs and half the parsley. Arrange the fish mixture in an even layer and cover with the potatoes, smushing them out to fully cover the pie – the more rustic and uneven the top, the more crispy bits there will be. Drizzle the potatoes with a little more olive oil.
If your skillet is very full, place it on a baking sheet. Bake the fish pie uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and the sides are bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with the remaining parsley and enjoy!