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Scottish Cooking, Fish Pie

10 oz white fish, e.g. haddock, cod or a mixture of white and smoked fish
6 oz prawns
11/2 lb potatoes
1/2 oz butter or margarine
2 fl oz hot milk
Salt and pepper
A little beaten egg

Sauce:
1 oz butter or margarine
1 oz flour
1/2 pint milk
1 level tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

1 Skin and bone fish and cut into fairly large chunks.
2 Wash fish and prawns, and dry on absorbent kitchen paper.
3 Peel potatoes and cook in boiling salted water until tender,
drain and mash, beat in butter, hot milk and seasoning.
4 Make white sauce and when thick, add parsley and season to taste.
5 Place fish and prawns in suitable ovenproof dish and cover with sauce.
6 Top with even layer of potato and fork top surface.
7 Bake brushing top of potato with beaten egg after first 30 minutes.
Serves 4-6 Oven 375 F 50-60 mins
190°C 50-60 mins.

Clearly the East Coast towns and villages of Scotland were always well and cheaply served as regards fish; and where catches were too large for immediate consumption the excess was preserved for later use or for trading purposes by splitting, salting and drying the fish on shingly beaches. Dr Johnson must have encountered this, as his friend Boswell records: ""I bought some speldings, fish (generally whitings) salted and dried in a particular manner, being dipped in the sea and dried in the sun, and eaten by the Scots by way of a relish. He had never seen them, though they are sold in London. I insisted on scottifying his palate, but he was very reluctant. With difficulty I prevailed with him to let a bit of one of them lie in his mouth. He did not like it."



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