New Year’s Eve supper with our friends Penny and Peter had to be cancelled. Instead we had an Epiphany Lunch. Cooking for lunch is always much more relaxed and this was no exception.
750g tomatoes, preferably plum tomatoes,skinned and chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp kaloonji seeds (optional)
½ tsp chilli flakes
Small bunch dill, finely chopped
500g cod or halibut
225g frozen king prawns, shelled
6=7 sheets filo pastry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Kaloonji are Indian onion seeds. I like to use them in spicy tomato dishes. They can be bought on line from Red Rickshaw (www.redrickshaw.com). Don’t worry if they are not to hand for this recipe.
To make the sauce, using a large frying pan with a lid, fry the onion in a little oil until soft. Coarsely crush the fennel and kaloonji seeds (if using) and chilli flakes. Add these to the pan and fry for a minute or two until the seeds have browned and aroma is released. Add the skinned tomatoes, season well and cook for about 20 minutes with the lid on, stirring from time to time, until the tomatoes are soft and the sauce is thick. Put to one side and leave to cool.
Fry the prawns in a little oil until all have turned pink. Strain and leave to cool.
Skin the fish and check for bones. Cut into 2cm chunks.
Oil a deep pie dish and line it with three or four sheets of filo pastry, laid at angles to each other and brushed with olive oil. Mix the tomato sauce with the fish and prawns and add the chopped dill. Put the filling into the centre of the dish. Turn the ends of the filo sheets in over the pie, brushing each with olive oil. Lay three sheets of filo pastry on top, again alternating the direction at which they are placed and brushing each with oil. Tuck any extra bits of pastry down the sides of the pie. Give the top a final brush with oil.
Cook at 200°C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and make deep cuts in the pie to mark four or six slices. Lower the heat of the oven to 180°C and return the pie to cook for about 40 minutes or until it is well browned on top.
Serve hot with a green salad which includes rocket and fennel.