In Good Company: Fish pie recipe

In Good Company: Fish pie recipe

This fish pie recipe is another standout from Sophie Hansen’s new cookbook In Good Company. I hesitate to define this book as a ‘cookbook’, despite there being hundreds of recipes in it. It’s just that there is so much more to it.

When you pick up a cookbook and you find yourself reading it cover to cover, that’s more than a cookbook, right? Sophie’s stories are so engaging and she’s packed plenty of tips for entertaining in as well. I thoroughly enjoyed every word.

In Good Company by Sophie Hansen

Image by Jade Miles.

But back to the fish pie recipe. I never used to be a fan, but my friend Sonia made us a fish pie when we were at her place once and I was an immediate convert. It’s safe to say that Sophie’s version of fish pie has re-converted me. It’s a really lovely dish and not too fishy. Am I the only one that likes my fish rather non-fishlike? Just not my thing.

So even if you have a non-fish person in your clan, this fish pie is still a safe bet to make for them. It serves a party if you add a salad and you can make a pie go a little further if unexpected guests turn up. Incidentally, they are my favourite kinds of guests. Over to Sophie…

For a limited time, you can get 25% off In Good Company at Booktopia here.

Try Sophie’s little herby pies or golden syrup biscuits too


Fish pie

Fish pie to make for friends

By Sophie Hansen, In Good Company

I love how this pie is shaped like a giant Easter egg! It’s the perfect dish to serve on Good Friday if eating fish that day is something you observe. But don’t save it for just one day of the year – this pie is wonderful for a picnic, to take to a friend or for an easy meal any day.

The idea for shaping and cutting the pie like this comes from one of my favourite books, Salt and Time by Alissa Timoshkina. And speaking of time, please give yourself plenty to make this, because if you do the filling the night before or at least a few hours ahead and it’s nice and cold when you come to assembly, it’s much easier to handle.

Makes 6-8
Takes 30 mins, plus chilling
Bakes about 1 hour

1 leek
2 cups (500 ml) full-cream milk
400 g (14 oz) ling or other firm white fish, pin-boned
300 g (10 ½ oz) salmon or trout, pin-boned
1 ½ Tbsp (30 g) butter
¼ cup (35 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
400 g (14 oz) hot-smoked trout or salmon
1 quantity Sour cream pastry (page 144)
4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
½ cup (50 g) flaked almonds, toasted
About 1 cup soft herbs, finely chopped (I use a mixture of parsley, dill and sorrel)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
2 Tbsp single (pure) cream

Wash the leek well, then finely chop the white and green parts. Put the green part in a deep-sided frying pan with the milk and a good grinding of black pepper. Heat until just at boiling point. Add the ling and salmon, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Check the fish is just cooked through, then transfer it to a plate.

Strain the milk, discarding the leek. Wipe out the pan and place it over medium–high heat. Add the butter and the white part of the leek and cook for a few minutes or until the leek has softened. Add the flour and cook for a minute or so, stirring well to make a thick paste. Pour in a little of the warm milk and stir until the mixture thickens. Gradually add the remaining milk and cook, stirring, until you have a thick sauce.

Break up the ling, salmon and the smoked trout and gently fold it into the sauce. Season well with salt and pepper and pop it into the fridge to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the pastry according to the recipe, removing a third of the pastry and wrapping it separately. Chill both wrapped pastry portions for 30 minutes.

Roll out the larger pastry portion on a lightly floured surface into a large oval, about 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick. Gently fold the chopped egg, flaked almonds, herbs and lemon zest into the fish mixture. Spread the mixture over the pastry, leaving a 3 cm (1 ¼ inch) border.

Roll out the remaining pastry into a smaller oval and drape it over the top of the filling. Crimp the pastry edges together so you have a dome-shaped pie. Re-roll any pastry trimmings and cut out shapes to decorate the top of your pie. Pop the pie into the fridge for 30 minutes (or up to a few hours until you’re ready to cook it).

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Whisk the egg and cream together, brush it over the pie and sprinkle the pie with a little sea salt. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve the pie hot, warm or at room temperature. Delicious!

Sour cream pastry

⅔ cup (160 g) sour cream
1 cup (250 g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 cups (300 g) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp sea salt

Put the sour cream, butter, flour and salt in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds until just combined. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and gently bring it together into a disc. Wrap the pastry and pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes.

vDon't miss In Good Company by Sophie Hansen

In Good Company: Little herb pies with pickles

In Good Company: Little herb pies with pickles

Sophie Hansen’s gorgeous new cookbook In Good Company is out today. You might remember Sophie from such hits as her previous book A Basket by the Door, and especially her delightful golden syrup biscuits. Oh, those bickies!

It’s hard to believe, but In Good Company is just as fantastic a resource as A Basket by the Door. Both tap into the importance on sharing food and stories to create community. Through good food, we enjoy good company and form the bonds that build friendship and support in times of need. I have gifted many copies of A Basket by the Door and I think In Good Company will be my new present of choice. When you can’t be there to share the meal, sharing the means to make the meal feels like the next best thing.

In good company indeed

There is a dazzling number of hints and tips for all kinds of entertaining in Sophie’s new book. If you’ve ever thought that you’d like to do more entertaining, but haven’t been sure where to start, then start with this book. Picnics, feasts, casual barbecues, formal dinners and Sunday lunch are all covered. Sophie brings an easy elegance to everything she does. She also gathers styling and serving tips from some very impressive friends along the way.

In Good Company by Sophie Hansen

Image by Jade Miles

In fact, bringing people together has never felt so effortless or so desirable. I found myself longing for good company as I devoured (pun intended!) this beautiful cookbook. Like me, I’ll bet you’ll read Sophie’s words like a novel and then skip back to find your chosen recipes.

Pilafs and herby pies

Sophie’s pilaf recipe is already a firm favourite of my family. I first made it for a large group of friends and then again and again for my fam, who pretty much request it every night. I do mix things up for variety, but considering I’ve had In Good Company for less than a month we sure have enjoyed that rice dish plenty! This is the beauty of Sophie’s recipes: they are easy, tasty and the kind of food we all enjoy sitting down to eat. There’s not a recipe in her new book that I’m not dying to make.

Another fast favourite are these little herb pies I’m sharing here. They are taaaaaasty, especially when served with the super-quick pickles. As well as serving for Sunday lunch, I’ve popped these into my kids’ lunchboxes and they worked a treat.

For a limited time, you can get 25% off In Good Company at Booktopia here.

Little herb pies with pickles

Little herb pies with pickles from In Good Company

By Sophie Hansen, In Good Company

Images and text from In Good Company by Sophie Hansen; photography by Sophie Hansen. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.

These little pies are heaven as a starter or, when made a little larger, as a main meal, perhaps with bread and butter pickles and my crunchy salad (also in In Good Company). You could also make one beautiful galette by rolling the pastry into a big round and piling the herby filling and some tomatoes on top before baking. Either way, I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.

A quick note on the pastry, which is inspired by the wonderful Maggie Beer: this recipe makes a short, flaky pastry that’s just perfect here, but if you have sheets of shortcrust or puff in the freezer, those would be great, too. Also, I find it easiest to make the filling mixture in advance and have it chilled when it comes to assembling your pies.

Makes 6-8 serves
Takes 25 mins, plus 50 minutes chilling
Cooks 30 mins

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 brown onions, thinly sliced
½ cup (125 g) sour cream
110 g (33/4 oz) goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 handful mixed herbs (see Note)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp single (pure) cream
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
Pickle or tomato relish, to serve

Sour cream pastry

⅔ cup (160 g) sour cream
1 cup (250 g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 cups (300 g) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp sea salt

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 10 minutes or until completely softened and caramelised. Transfer the onion to a bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Put the sour cream, butter, flour and salt in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds until just combined. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and gently bring it together into a disc. Wrap the pastry and pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Add the sour cream, goat’s cheese, herbs and 1 egg to the onion and gently mix to combine.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick. Using a biscuit cutter or glass, cut the pastry into 7 cm (2 ¾ inch) rounds. Place about a tablespoon of the herb mixture in the middle of a pastry round and bring the sides together, pressing to seal. Use the tines of a fork to gently press down around the edges. Place the pie on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling. Place the pies in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Whisk the remaining egg with the cream, then brush it over the pies and sprinkle them with the sesame seeds and sea salt flakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pies are golden and the pastry has puffed up. Serve the warm pies with a tangy pickle or tomato relish.


My favourite mix of herbs for these pies is parsley, mint, sorrel and tarragon. Try to avoid woody herbs like thyme and rosemary as they might overpower the mixture.

What is the definition of being ‘in good company’ to you?

vDon't miss In Good Company by Sophie Hansen


Marley Spoon’s Thai-style pork salad

Marley Spoon’s Thai-style pork salad

I shared another recipe from the new book Step by Step with Marley Spoon by Olivia Andrews a couple of weeks ago. In the intro to that recipe, I talked about how this cookbook brings all the easy-breezy cooking from the home delivery company without all the awful plastic packaging. The same is true of this delicious Thai-style pork salad.

I’m a huge fan of salads for lunch. I almost-always have my standard tuna salad every day (have done for years and years), but mixing it up with this pork salad was excellent. The flavours in this dish are outta-this-world. The dressing is so good that I made extra and have been pouring it over everything from potatoes to other salads to my eggs. I highly recommend you do the same!

Check out my go-to salad here: My Asian-style every day everyday tuna salad

If you are so inclined, you could get one of these pre-cooked rice sachets to cut the cooking time on this recipe in half. It would defeat the ‘less plastic packaging’ ideal, but you do what you’ve gotta do. For me, cooking up a pot of brown rice is no biggie. The Marley Spoon recipe suggests using the ‘boiling water and drain’ method, but Uncle Roger would have a heart attack.

Absorption method for brown rice

The absorption method works just well for brown rice as for white: clean your rice, cover with a ratio of  2 cups water to one cup rice, cover and bring to boil over medium heat on stove top, reduce heat to simmer, simmer for about 20-25 minutes, take off heat and leave covered for about 10 minutes before fluffing and serving.  Done.

You could also swap the pork for beef mince, chicken mince or tofu mince and it would still be a wonderful salad. Just, obviously, not a pork salad. Rather a beef salad. Or a chicken salad. Or a… you get the idea.

Enjoy this yummy salad for lunch one day. Let me know what you think!

Thai-style pork salad

Thai-style pork salad with Marley Spoon

Up your salad game with this delicious take on Thailand’s famous larb. In place of mince it features stir-fried pork strips so it’s chunkier, and rice that’s traditionally served on the side acts as a bed to soak up the mouthwatering dressing. Finished off with roasted peanuts and fresh herbs, it’s a winner any night of the week.

Serves 4
Takes 30 mins
Equipment medium/large saucepan, fine grater, medium/large frying pan

250 g brown rice
40 g roasted peanuts
1 bird’s eye chilli
1 large lime
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 Lebanese (long) cucumbers
3 tomatoes
20 g coriander
20 g mint
1 tbs vegetable oil
500 g free-range pork stir-fry strips
salt and pepper

1. Chop peanuts: Bring 1 litre (4 cups)/1.5 litres (6 cups) water to the boil in a saucepan for the rice. Coarsely chop the peanuts.

2. Cook rice: Cook the rice in the pan of boiling water for 25 mins or until the rice is tender. Drain.

3. Make dressing: Meanwhile, thinly slice the chilli, removing the seeds if less heat is desired. (The dressing is delicious even without the chilli.) Finely grate the lime zest, then juice. Put the chilli, lime zest, lime juice, sesame oil, fish sauce and sugar in a small bowl, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

4. Make salad: Cut the cucumber into 2 cm chunks. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. Finely chop the coriander, including the stems. Finely chop the mint leaves, discarding the stems. Put the cucumber, tomato, coriander and mint in a bowl.

5. Stir-fry pork: Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat. Stir-fry the pork for 2 mins or until browned and cooked through. (The pork cooks quickly so stick to these cooking times to ensure a tender result.) Season with salt and pepper.

6. Get ready to serve: Add half the dressing to the salad and toss to combine. Divide the rice, salad and pork among bowls. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and scatter over the peanuts to serve.

Images and text from Step by Step with Marley Spoon by Olivia Andrews, photography by Phu Tang. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99

Marley Spoon’s mixed mushroom risotto

Marley Spoon’s mixed mushroom risotto

Have you ever tried a meal kit company like Marley Spoon? Basically, you pick what you want to make for the week (this mixed mushroom risotto would be on my list) and they deliver all of the ingredients you need plus a recipe card. You then cook your dinner and it’s super-quick and easy. People rave about it.

Only… I’ve always had an issue with the fact that since each ingredient is individually portioned it’s all packed in individual plastic containers. So. much. unnecessary. packaging. Sure, my head has been turned by how simple these kind of delivery companies make the whole dinner situation each week, but I just can’t get over the wasteful packaging!

Also, I think it’s actually pretty easy to meal plan and make the dinners anyway…

It really ain’t that hard!!: Easy meal planning: the super-simple way to reduce stress


Then Olivia Andrews came out with her new book Step by Step with Marley Spoon and I’m in. I get to make Marley Spoon’s 100 top-rated recipes without actually having the food delivered.

Top of my list to make was this mixed mushroom risotto. It’s bloody delicious, so I can see the appeal of why customers keep coming back for more. The great thing is, you can now cook the recipes with far less packaging. 

And that’s a massive win for sure!

Mixed mushroom risotto

Cook this mixed mushroom risotto by Marley Spoon

This risotto is all about umami. What’s that? The fifth ‘savoury’ taste. Italian dishes get it from parmesan and anchovies. Asian cuisines from soy and miso – and mushrooms have it in spades. Start this satisfying dinner by pan-frying mushrooms with garlic and spring onion, then add rice. Pour in the miso-spiked stock gradually, stirring as you do so for a deliciously creamy risotto texture.

Makes 4 serves
Takes 40 mins
Equipment wok or large deep frying pan, medium/large saucepan with lid

800 g mixed mushrooms
3 garlic cloves
3 spring onions
40 g butter
1½ tbs sesame oil
4 tbs white miso paste
300 g arborio rice
200 g baby spinach leaves
2 tsp black sesame seeds

1. Prepare ingredients: Clean the mushrooms with paper towel or a brush. Remove the stems from any shiitake mushrooms and thickly slice. Slice or quarter the remaining mushrooms. Finely chop the garlic. Thinly slice the spring onion and separate the white and green parts.

2. Cook mushrooms: Melt half the butter in a frying pan with half the sesame oil over medium–high heat. Cook the mushrooms, stirring, for 5 mins or until golden and softened, then season with salt. Remove and set aside. Do not clean the pan.

3. Prepare rice and stock: Meanwhile, combine the miso paste and 750 ml (3 cups)/1.5 litres (6 cups) boiling water in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Keep warm over low heat, taking care not to let it boil.

4. Coat rice: Heat the remaining sesame oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Add the rice, garlic and white part of the spring onion, then stir for 1 min or until the grains are well coated.

5. Cook risotto: Add about one-quarter of the stock to the pan and stir well. Cook until the stock has been absorbed before pouring in another quarter. Continue adding the stock until the rice is almost al dente, 15–20 mins, adding more water if necessary, 60 ml (¼ cup) at a time.

6. Get ready to serve: Stir in the spinach, mushrooms and remaining butter, then cook for 2 mins or until the spinach wilts and the rice is al dente. Season with salt. Divide the risotto among bowls and scatter with the green spring onion and sesame seeds to serve.

Images and text from Step by Step with Marley Spoon by Olivia Andrews, photography by Phu Tang. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99

Don't miss Step By Step With Marley Spoon

Yummiest fish cakes from Cornersmith

Yummiest fish cakes from Cornersmith

We recently introduced you to Cornersmith’s amazing new book Use It All: The Cornersmith guide to a more sustainable kitchen and we’re delighted to share this fish cakes recipe from the book. They are aptly delightful!

This is the kind of recipe where you can throw in anything you have leftover in the crisper and it will all just work. Though I highly advise making them exactly as stated here so you don’t miss out on the awesomeness that is Cornersmith’s fish cakes, and no other.

Don't miss the book - Use It All

These fish cakes are really nice on a roll with some lettuce and grated carrot – perfect for the lunch box. I have also made them smaller so they dip beautifully into things like aoli, mayo or sweet chilli sauce. Experiment and see where they take you. Hopefully onto an imaginary Thai island somewhere with a really good book to read. That book would be Use It All, of course. 😉

Ooh, don’t miss Cornersmith’s sausage rolls too!


Fish cakes

Cornersmith fish cakes - these are so good!

Recipe, image and words from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards

Whole-food cook Jude Blereau’s cookbooks taught us how to make fritters and fish cakes when our kids were little, and they’ve been a family favourite ever since. This is our version using left-over fish and whatever vegetables and herbs are hanging around in the fridge. If you’ve got left-over mash, it all comes together in a matter of minutes.

Makes 8
Takes about 35 minutes

400 g (14 oz) cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes
Splash of full-cream (whole) milk
¾ cup (75 g) thinly sliced crunchy vegetables
spring onions (scallions)
sweetcorn kernels

Small handful of finely chopped herbs
fennel fronds
celery leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1 lemon or lime
Freshly cracked black pepper
300 g (10½ oz) left-over flaked baked fish (page 48)
1 egg
1 cup (100 g) stale breadcrumbs
100 ml (3½ fl oz) good-quality vegetable oil such as sunflower or rice-bran oil

In a large bowl, mash the potatoes with the milk and a pinch of salt. Add the thinly sliced vegetables, along with the herbs, garlic and lemon or lime zest. Season with salt and pepper and combine well with a fork, then stir through the flaked fish, being careful not to break it up too much, which can make the mixture gluey.

Divide the mixture into eight fish cakes. Whisk the egg in a shallow bowl and tip the breadcrumbs into another shallow bowl. Dip each fish cake in the egg and then coat in the breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium–low heat. Fry the fish cakes in batches for 3–4 minutes each side until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel and serve with a crunchy slaw (find the recipe in the book) and condiments, such as toum (also in the book), aioli or hot sauce.

Will you make these fish cakes, do you think?

Images and text from Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards, photography by Cath Muscat. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.

Fish cake by Cornersmith are the absolute best

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