Salmon Pie

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This is my mum’s interpretation of my grandma’s salmon pie recipe. Effectively it is a quiche, but it is a little more complicated than a simple quiche, it is also very, very tasty, a satisfying meal and a good way to get some more fish into a family meal in an economic fashion. It is a family favourite for us – comforting in both its familiarity and its warm tastiness! It also can cope with variation. If you don’t have shallots, spring onions are totally fine, and at a pinch, normal onion with maybe some parsley for green-ness would work fine too. The cottage cheese can be exchanged for cream cheese, some fetta, some buttermilk … and if you don’t have quite enough white cheese, more eggs will do the trick! Hope it warms and nourishes you too!

Ingredients:

Pastry
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup water
60g butter
a squeeze of lemon juice (this is optional)

100g (or a generous handful) grated tasty/cheddar cheese (we usually use light)
1 x 410g tin of pink salmon
1 tablespoon flour
1-2 tablespoons of oil (olive, sunflower, canola, rice bran …)
3/4 bunch of shallots (about 6)
2 cups (225g) mushrooms
350g cottage cheese (this can really be changed round, a mixture of soft cheeses, buttermilk etc. is fine)
3 eggs
150g grated tasty/cheddar cheese

Method:
1. Make the pastry by rubbing butter through both the flours. Add the water (and lemon juice) and stir till a dough forms. Roll out the dough between two pieces of baking paper or on a floured bench till the size of pie dish. A square Pyrex dish works, as does a traditional round pie dish. In the photos above I used a baking dish I bought at a garge sale and it worked fine! Try not to leave too much pastry above the line of filling though, it will dry out a bit. Make a pretty pattern round the edge of the pastry using a fork or fingers. Bake for 4-5 mins at 180˚C till just beginning to be done. This is called blind baking and means that the pastry on the base has a chance at being cooked before its filled with filling. We have another recipe where we don’t blind bake the same pastry and it works fine too, so if you like softish pastry, skip this step, and if you like it crunchier, then ‘bake blind’
2. Sprinkle the base of pastry with the first 100g of cheddar cheese.
3. Place the salmon in a bowl and sprinkle with flour. Break up the fish till smoothish and all the juice have been soaked up with the flour. (You can add a little more flour if you need).
4. Spread over the cheese in the pie dish.
5. Finely chop the shallots and slice the mushrooms.
6. Saute shallots and mushrooms in a fry pan, when softened remove from heat. Allow to cool and add cottage cheese and eggs.
7. Pour the onion and mushrooms over the salmon mixture and top with the 150g of cheese.
8. Bake the pie at 180˚C for 35 to 40 mins or till golden and cooked through.
9. Enjoy with a big salad or steamed vegetables.

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