The recipe for this delicious, unusual fish pie is courtesy of chef Jean Francois Salet of The Rooster Restaurant, Katoomba, The Blue Mountains. Yes, there's flathead fish in there, but it's the buried treasures (the diamond clams, broad beans and button mushrooms) which are so surprising. And I really like the addition of truffle oil to the mix.
It's an impressive and not difficult dish to make at home, especially if you use frozen butter puff pastry for the lids. Make sure to scrub the clam shells thoroughly beforehand.
Built early last century on the escarpment around the Jamison Valley, this charming heritage restaurant boasts magnificent views and an elegant, intimate dining room. At sunset, the changing colours of the escarpment left me gasping.
- Yield : 4
- brown onions - 5, sliced
- Bechamel Sauce:
- hot milk - 500ml
- plain flour - 40g
- butter - 40g
- flathead - 600g
- Diamond Clams - 8
- broad beans - 100g, peeled
- button mushrooms - 8, diced
- Truffle Paste Oil - to taste
- dry white wine - a dash
- fresh basil - finely chopped
- Frozen butter puff pastry - 4 sheets
Preheat oven to 200degC (180degC fan forced).
Sweat the onions in olive oil in a large frying pan until translucent.
Make the Bechamel Sauce: melt the butter in a medium saucepan, , stir in the flour and cook over low heat for a minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the hot milk, stirring continuously until sauce thickens and becomes smooth. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the sauce and onions in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add Truffle Paste to taste. Leave to cool.
Place two spoonfuls of the onion purée into each of four pie dish.
Place the seasoned fish on top, then the clams (allow 2 per dish), diced mushrooms and broad beans, a splash of white wine, some finely chopped basil and a dice of butter.
Cover with a disc of puff pastry. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven.