61. England (Great Britain) : Fishpie (lighter version)

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I love England! I know it’s just a part of Great Britain but I decided to split it up because I could not make a choice between the variety of British recipes. So many things come to mind when you hear England! Things like tbe Royal family, tea time (scones!!!), bulldogs, James Bond, Winston Churchill,… A journey through England is a journey through history. But not history that’s dull and dusty, history you can feel and re-live every where you go.

Things you didn’t know about England:

  • Big Ben also more formally known as The Great Bell which is in the Elizabeth Tower has only ever stopped chiming 3 times in its lifetime of 152 years. It stopped Once in 2007 when it was being cleaned, also in 2005 due to a rare event of hot weather and then again in 1949 when a flock of birds landed on the minute arm and stopped it from moving for a brief second.
  • The British Royal Family is known all around the world, but what a lot of people don’t know is that the Royal Family has been German since 1701. This was due to the British parliament not wanting a Roman Catholic to be able to take the throne. The Royal families last name was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha however this changed during World War 1 due to the war against Germany in which they became known as Windsor.
  • Back in the day every one would say that their name was John Smith, this was a very common name and all criminals were “John Smith”. Due to this there are a lot of Smiths in England still. There is even a beer named after them called John Smith.
  • The English invented champagne! The quintessentially French drink from the Champagne regions of France, is actually the brain child of an English scientist. Christopher Merrit produced and presented a paper to the Royal Society in London in 1662 explaining how to add sugar and molasses to Wine to make it sparkling and brisk. Over 30 years later, Dom Perignon used the process to create the first ever batch of Champagne.
  • A royal footman who poured whisky into the Queen’s corgis’ (the Queen has a bunch of corgis she is very attached to them) water as a party trick was rewarded with a salary cut and a demotion.

They say the English cuisine is boring, but I disagree! To me the English food always gives me a homey sort of feeling. It might not be very refined but you just taste the love in the recipes. Dishes you wanted to eat after you came home as kid soaking wet from the rain after field hockey or soccer practice. Dishes that warm you up. Dishes like this amazing fish pie!

Schermafbeelding 2015-07-21 om 17.37.34

Ingredients: 1 large leek, 1 knob(s) butter, 2 clove(s) garlic, peeled and crushed, 1 splash(es) white wine, 300 g créme fraiche, 2 sprig(s) fresh dill, chopped, 400 g fish pie mix, 2 slice(s) stale bread. 1 chunk(s) parmesan cheese, grated, 1 bag(s) frozen peas

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Prep and Cook Leeks. Slice the leek pretty finely and wash under cold water in a colander. Fry in a saucepan with the butter for a few minutes to soften and sweeten
  3. Add creme fraiche and fish. Splash in the wine with the crushed garlic and reduce to a syrup before slopping in the crème fraiche. Add the fish and allow the mixture to bubble for a minute or two to just cook then add the chopped dill.
  4. Check the seasoning and divide between 4 individual oven proof dishes, or one large if that’s easier.
  5. Prep topping and bake. Blitz the stale bread up in a small blender with the parmesan to get fine crumbs, crusts are optional. Scatter the crumbs over the fish mix and place them into the oven for 10 minutes until the crumbs turn golden and the fish mix is bubbling.
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