With the kids going back to school and the evening meal feeling a little more hectic after the summer holidays, Lesley Waters' speedy fish supper will have you sitting at the table 45 minutes after you get through the door.
Fish puff pies
15g/1/2 oz butter
2 medium carrots peeled into ribbons
1 bunch of spring onions chopped
4 plaice or lemon sole fillets skinned and trimmed
3 skinless salmon steaks each cut into 5 large chunks
150ml/ ¼ pint white wine
120ml/8tbsp double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
375g pack ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/ Gas 6.
Butter 4 small ovenproof dishes such as small soup bowls, large ramekins, or very large cappuccino or coffee cups
Place carrots and spring onions in the buttered soup dishes. Sit fillet on top along with the salmon chunks.
Drizzle over the wine and cream and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper
Unroll the rectangle of pastry and gently roll it out into a square using a little flour. This will only require a few rolls. Cut into 4 equal squares. Egg-wash the edges of the pastry squares and cover each dish with a pastry square pressing around the edges so that it is well sealed. The pastry should overlap the edges of the bowl and be well stuck down.
Brush the top of each pie with egg wash and place on a baking tray. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes until pastry is golden and puffed. Serve straight away.
Cheesy mash with nutmeg
900g (2lb) potatoes peeled
170g (6oz) cream cheese
freshly ground nutmeg
Splash of milk, if needed
salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
Cut the potatoes into small, even sized pieces. Place in a saucepan, cover with water and cook until tender. Drain well, return to the saucepan, and mash with the cream cheese. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and keep warm.
450g broccoli cut into small florets
170g green beans, trimmed and sliced
150g frozen peas
1 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
½ tsp cracked black pepper
Steam-fry the broccoli and beans as follows. Heat a large nonstick frying pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the oil and then the broccoli and green beans. Stir-fry for a minute. Add the frozen peas and a tablespoon of water and season.
Cover with a piece of wet greaseproof paper taking care that all of the paper is enclosed inside the pan and put on the lid. This will create a lot of steam in the pan. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 4 – 5 minutes or until the broccoli is just cooked.