Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Kumara Topped Fish Pie

Great news - our heat pump that we bought from Christchurch has arrived in Auckland - hopefully it will be delivered tomorrow! We have one, but it stopped working (just in time for the cold weather...ironic!) so we have been keeping warm with those delightful energy sucking oil heaters. They  are an easy fix to a cold room, but soon the power bill will be here and we will be selling our souls to pay for it!

We have to keep warm though - amazing how things change when you have kids. Pre-kids we would just put on a million layers and carry on, but with the kids around we need to keep things warm - especially given their penchant for the nudie run at bath time!

Anyway, totally off topic for a blog about food. No post last ear infection seemed to have realised it missed a side, so switched to the left. Bed was the only way to feel better! Dinner last night was pretty simple in keeping with how I was feeling. Baked whole potatoes with turkey mince, roasted beetroot and steamed vegetables. The mince was flavoured with Ras El Hamout which is a gorgeous middle eastern inspired spice mix. 

Tonight we feasted on fish, winter warmer style. Yup, it was fish pie - the gluten free, dairy free, grain free, soy free version. I have used this recipe a few times now and I think I almost prefer it to a classic fish pie. I came up with it after struggling to find a good recipe that ticked all of the boxes for us. I've played around with a few of the ingredients, and I think this recipe is pretty good. Still creamy, fishy, and moreish, but jam packed full of goodness. 

 All mixed up and in the baking dish

 Final touches before the topping

 Kumara mash to top, and into the oven

 The final product - hot, steamy, creamy juicy fish pie...mmmmmmm!

 Not the most attractive thing to serve on a plate - have to work on plating skills!

The full meal - pie, roasted broccoli and zucchini, salad

Kumara Topped Fish Pie:


Pie Filling:
500g White fish (smoked or plain) cut into bite size chunks
400g Prawns (optional) peeled, tails off
100g Salmon (optional) cut into bite size chunks
3 tbsp Coconut oil
1.5 cups Coconut milk
3 tbsp Tapioca flour (arrowroot) to thicken sauce
Salt and pepper
½ tsp Wholegrain mustard (or mustard powder)
1 cup Vegetable stock
2 tbsp fresh Parsley, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1 Onion
1 cup Peas
2 Carrots (diced)
2 sticks Celery (cut into 1cm slices)
2 Tomatoes (whole, fresh - sliced into wedges)
3 Boiled eggs (each cut into 4 wedges)

2 large Kumara (or pumpkin or potato if desired), boiled or steamed until soft
1/4 cup Coconut or Almond milk
1 tbsp Coconut oil (or butter if preferred)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. In a large pan, heat the coconut oil over a low heat. 
3. Once melted, add the arrowroot and mix well. 
4. Add the coconut milk slowly, whisking as you go to get rid of any lumps. It seems to work better to do this with the pan off the heat, just so the heat doesn't make things happen too quickly.
5. With the pan on the heat add the stock, mustard and parsley and continue to whisk until a thick creamy sauce is achieved. 
6. At this point add the onions, carrots, celery, lemon zest, lemon juice. Allow to cook for a few minutes until vegetables start to just soften. If the mixture becomes too thick add some more stock or coconut cream depending on what you have on hand, or even a little water if that's most convenient.
7. Add the white fish, salmon and prawns and peas. Cook for a couple of minutes to combine. It doesn't matter if the fish isn't cooked through yet, as this will happen in the oven. Season to taste.
8. Pour mixture into a large ovenproof baking dish
9. On top of the filling mix, arrange the tomato and egg however you like. 
10. Once the filling is ready, quickly mash the kumara up with the milk, oil and nutmeg. Season to taste
11. Spread kumara mash evenly over the fish mixture
12. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes or until golden. 
13. Serve with steamed green vegetables and salad.


  • You can play around with the types of fillings you use, as always - you're the boss! For a super easy meal, just use white fish and a some frozen vegetables. Alternatively go all out with a seafood fiesta - prawns, salmon, scallops, many options!
  • I was in a rush (what's new!) to get this in the oven, so I just threw the mash on and chucked it in the oven. If I was going to make it a little more beautiful, I would add a row of sliced tomato or sprinkle some (gluten-free) breadcrumbs mixed with herbs over the top to help it to crisp up and look a little less orange. If you are not concerned about dairy, a sprinkling of parmesan or some grated cheese would also be good