I am a proud Australian, and very proudly live in England with my English husband and English son. I love England and utterly, completely, madly, adore living on the Isle of Wight.
Naturally I have developed a deep love for English food, literature, culture. I particularly love a quintessentially English picnic, and a traditional afternoon tea. I am not a fan of cucumber but I go weak at the knees at cucumber sandwiches. The bread has to be crustless and white, and the cucumbers peeled and sliced very very thin. Add lots of salt and a thin smear of butter and you have the food of the Gods.
One of the first ‘English’ dishes I made for my husband was when we were living abroad. He mentioned that his favourite ever supper dish was fish pie – just like how his mum used to make. I had never heard of fish pie,- I immediately thought that it would be like the curried scallop pies I adored in Australia – creamy spicy scallops encased in pastry. No, it was creamy fish topped with mashed potato. I downloaded the recipe from Delia Smith’s website and made fish pie, which naturally we served with peas.
There are many recipes out there – some include capers or cornichons. Some use smoked fish. I very occasionally use one fillet of smoked haddock, but today I did not. My recipe was simple. I place 2 salmon fillets and 3 cod fillets into milk on the hob which I then heat until just about to boil. I then remove the fish and use the milk to make a white sauce. I then place the fish into a shallow oven dish, add the white sauce, a good double handful of cooked King Prawns and three boiled eggs which are sliced. This is then topped with mashed potato and cooked in the oven until hot and bubbling.
We served this with peas and fresh broad beans.
We rarely-to-never eat puddings but for a classic English summer supper, it had to be Eton mess. Eton mess was apparently traditionally served at Eton college during the summer cricket matches. It is possibly the easiest pudding ever – just fresh strawberries layered with whipped cream and crushed meringue. Divine.