This is a great comfort food recipe that’s easy to prepare and is a nice change of pace from the traditional chicken pot pie. It reminds me of the recipe for Fish Pie from J. Sheeky’s in London - a great restaurant in the West End. They use a mix of salmon, cod and haddock in a smooth and silky white sauce topped with creamy mashed potatoes (shepherd’s pie style). (click here for -J. Sheeky's recipe) Instead of potatoes, the topping of choice here is puff-pastry cut-outs, which are easy to make and add an elegant touch to the dish.
Flour for the counter
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (9 1/2- by 9-inch), thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 pounds salmon fillets, skin removed (or a combo of salmon, boneless cod and haddock fillet)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
2 cups whole milk
1 cup frozen peas
¼ cup minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon English mustard (or Dijon)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper
Lemon wedges (for serving)
For the topping:
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Dust the counter lightly with flour and unfold the sheet of puff pastry. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the pastry into 12 rounds or rectangles. Brush the cut outs lightly with egg, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until the rectangles are puffed and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet until needed.
For the filling:
1. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Remove any pin bones from the salmon and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then spread it in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the flour and coat the vegetables. Gradually whisk in the clam juice and milk until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thick, about 1 minute.
3. Off the heat, stir in the peas, dill, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the salmon in the baking dish. Use a spoon to redistribute the salmon evenly throughout the dish.
4. Arrange the reserved puff-pastry rectangles attractively over the casserole. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the salmon is fully cooked, 13 to 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving with the lemon wedges.