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Mariner’s Pie

The creamy seafood filling in a crispy crust makes a wonderful pie which is equally good as a main course with vegetables or salad or in smaller portions as an elegant first course, garnished with a spoonful of tomato-flavoured cream and a sprig of dill or parsley.

1 medium onion, chopped
75 g butter
250 g mushrooms, sliced
100 ml cake flour
500 ml milk
2.5 ml chicken stock powder
1 ml dried thyme
2.5 ml mixed dried herbs
250 ml cream
3 large eggs
1 x 200 g tin mussels, rinsed, drained and chopped
250 g prawns, cooked and peeled
30 ml parsley, finely chopped
2.5 ml salt
freshly ground black pepper

Phyllo pastry crust
10 sheets of phyllo pastry
75 g melted butter

Tomato cream sauce
125 ml cream
15 ml tomato sauce
few drops Tabasco sauce
sprigs of parsley

  1. Saute the onion in butter until tender and transparent, but not browned.
  2. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring from time to time until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Stir in the flour and add the milk, stock powder and dried thyme and herbs. Bring to the boil, stirring until a thick, smooth sauce has formed.
  4. Beat together the eggs and cream and stir onto the sauce. Add the mussels, shrimps or prawns and parsley and stir to combine. Add the salt and pepper and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  5. Brush the base and sides of a rectangular ovenproof dish (about 300 x 200 x 60 mm) with melted butter and line with 5 sheets of phyllo pastry, brushing in between and folding it to fit the dish without cutting away any of the pastry.
  6. Pour the filling into the crust and cover with the remaining sheets of phyllo pastry, brushing in between and folding the sheets to fit. Fold the last sheet neatly to create a smooth top surface and brush with the remaining butter.
  7. Bake at 180 degrees for 35 minutes or until the crust is crisp, the filling has set and the pie appears slightly risen in the centre.
  8. Switch off the oven, open the door slightly and allow the pie to stand in the oven for 10 minutes before serving.
  9. In the meantime, beat the cream until stiff and beat in the tomato sauce and Tabasco sauce.
  10. Cut the pie into 6 to 12 squares and serve warm with a spoonful of flavoured cream and a sprig of parsley or dill.

6 servings as a main meal or 12 as a first course.

Select seafood according to preference and availability. Any canned or cooked fish or combinations of the two can be used to replace the mussels and prawns. Tuna, salmon or marinara mix will make a good pie.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from Art Of Cooking page 777.