Glorious Cod Pie – rich n’ creamy

Well, well, well. You hopefully know by now that I’m a descendant of the great Vikings. We might have made some questionable decisions during our raids in the Nordic and Celtic areas, but those were the golden days. The boys traveled thousands of miles to pillage a few villages and smack some people with their battle-axes.

No wonder that many regions called them the devils from the sea. We literally caused havoc. We laughed when going into battle and showed no fear of dying. Dying would lead to a faster welcome party in Valhalla.

During these raids, they needed to eat solid meals. Meals that would protect them from illnesses and give them strength in battle. Hearty dishes that were easy and fast to make.

Ok, I do admit that they might not have followed specific recipes. Instead, they cooked what they found and added various available ingredients into the stews.

Stews are the easiest dishes to make while camping, and they had plenty of access to delicious fish: no quota or competing fishing trawlers, just a bunch of lads fishing on a boat.

Here’s a great Viking dish, modified to today’s kitchen and ingredients, but still very simple and fast to make for your meal plan. This recipe is inspired by Jamie Oliver, with some personal modifications.

Ingredients

  • 6-7 medium-sized potatoes 
  • 5 eggs 
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of flour
  • 1.5 cups of half-half
  • 1.5 cups of chicken stock/broth
  • 2 cups of grated mixed cheese (cheddar and mozzarella)  
  • 3 teaspoons of nutmeg, or grate a whole nutmeg
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of English mustard 
  • 2.5 lbs of cod
  • 1 large bag or box of baby spinach
  • 1 handful of parsley, nicely chopped

FISH Tip

You can, in reality, use any fish. It is your decision. I prefer cod for this dish. Perhaps ask your local fish minger what fish are good this season, but make sure it is skinned and deboned.

Vikings milked goats and cows to get fresh milk for their food, and I’m sure they used it for their fish pie.

To show you how fast and easy this dish is, you might as well start to heat your oven to 400F.

  1. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes, and throw them in a large pot with water. We normally do not peel the potatoes, but you can peel them if you prefer.
  2. Boil the potatoes until they are soft
  3. In a small pot, hard boil the eggs – I assume you know how to cook eggs!?
  4. Nuke (microwave) the baby spinach, and let it drain while you prepare the rest
  5. Add the butter to a large pan, and slowly melt it.
  6. When melted, add the flour and start stirring/mixing it with the butter.
  7. Add the stock and the milk, and heat it.
  8. It should thicken, looking and feeling a bit like bechamel sauce.
    1. Make sure not to leave it alone, as it might burn to the bottom.
  9. Once it has thickened, add 1 cup of the grated cheese.
  10. Add the English mustard.
  11. Add the chopped parsley.
  12. Add the lemon juice
  13. Sprinkle with some black pepper
  14. At this point, the potatoes should be ready.
  15. Use a hand masher and destroy the spuds.
  16. Place the cod fillets in a large oven (lasagne) tray.
  17. Cover the fish with the spinach
  18. Quarter the hard-boiled eggs
  19. Strategically place the eggs on top of the fish.
  20. Add the mashed potatoes, and make sure it covers all.
  21. Pour over the white sauce.
  22. Sprinkle the top with the last remaining cup of grated cheese
  23. Bake the disk for 40 minutes in the oven

Dinner is served. Family happy. You all feel like Vikings now, ready to plunder.

Might not look delicious, but it’s homemade and my pictures reflect home cooking

You can serve the dish as a bunch of mixed boiled vegetables is an excellent companion for this dish. Vegetables are right for you. Vikings might disagree, but we are no longer stuck in the dark ages of violence.

Time to get healthy. Eat them vegetables. You need it to fight off the elements.

This dish can easily feed a family of five twice. It freezes well, so use it another day, for another week, when you need something fast to eat and forget to plan.

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