Gary Maclean was kind enough to share his book, Kitchen Essentials: The Joy of Home Cooking with us and gave his permission to share a few of his delicious recipes to encourage the family to gather around the table. Here are a couple of Gary’s family favorites – British classics like fish pie and a simple roast chicken. As Gary wrote in his book, “there’s nothing better than being the first person to crack open a fish pie… Some of the best plates of food you will ever eat are the simplest and, for me, one of the best recipes is a simple roast chicken: done properly it’s an incredible dish.”
Gary’s own “Hassle Factor” Rating: 2G’s or, “a wee bit more complex”
- 1 pack of fish pie mix, between 320g to 400g
- 50g butter
- 50g plain flour
- 500ml milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 1 small onion
- 150g Cheddar, grated
- 50g Parmesan, grated
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 tsp Dijon or English mustard
- 25g chives, finely snipped
- 100g frozen sweetcorn
- 100g frozen peas
- Salt and pepper, to taste
A classic fish pie is filling and full of flavour. The fish mix you use can include cod, salmon, smoked haddock and so on – it’s up to you.
- The first job is to peel your onion, then, using the cloves, pierce the bay leaf onto the onion. Place the studded onion into a small pot and cover with the milk.
- Slowly bring the milk up to a simmer; as soon as the milk is simmering turn off the heat and allow the studded onion to flavour the milk.
- Melt the butter in another small pan then add the flour and mix to form a thick paste called a roux.
- Cook out for 3 to 4 minutes then slowly start to add the warm, flavoured milk. Stir continuously while you add the milk until you achieve a smooth sauce with the consistency of thick double cream. If you add the milk a little at a time you will avoid making a lumpy sauce.
- Cook this out for 10 minutes over a very low heat to avoid burning the sauce, stirring every minute or so.
- Take off the heat and stir in the cheese (save some Cheddar for the topping), fish, mustard, spring onions, chives, sweetcorn and peas. Spoon into an ovenproof dish.
- Spoon or pipe the mashed potato on top and sprinkle with Cheddar cheese.
- Place into the oven, preheated to 200°C, for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling at the edges.