Ocean Pie, a rooster, a hen, a cat, and some seedlings

Hi folks, I thought I’d share a great ocean pie recipe (because that sounds so much better than “fish pie”) with you today, despite my wife saying that if I did post the pie photos then I’d lose all my readers. I’ll admit – it’s not the prettiest of things, but damn if it’s not delicious. Before that though I thought I’d share a few updates with you on what’s going on here.

Now that the ground has defrosted; the days are hot and the nights are mild, the time has come to start thinking of gardening. I planted some seeds a few weeks back and am delighted to see that they’re coming along really well. Shown below are cucumbers; I’ve also planted leeks, oregano and some weird salad leaf thing which I don’t actually know the name of.

Cucumber Seedlings

These are getting big enough that they’ll soon need to be replanted. I dare not plant them outside quite yet because the risk of frost is still a possibility for another half month or so. In any case, eventually they’ll go out to a greenhouse along with some tomato and aubergine seedlings – the latter two I’ll be buying because I’m lazy and also didn’t really plan ahead.

I’ve been weeding and forking and digging and preparing another patch of land for some beets, beans, and various other things which I forget right now…

Main vegetable patch

I’ve also been digging up a patch of land where I’m going to plant some potatoes. This operation did not go quite according to plan. I was happily digging away and suddenly a hit a huge boulder. After much digging and with the help of both my parents-in-law I was able to eventually extract it from under the ground. I carried on digging and hit another. Luckily this one was a bit smaller so I could remove it myself. Unfortunately then I hit another one which was about three times as big as the first. Considering the first one was probably about 80kg, it’s pretty safe to say that that one was staying put. A few days later I found another boulder, so now I’ve sectioned off the area into “suitable for potatoes” and “not suitable for potatoes” parts. You can see the patch in the photo below, with two of the boulders in the bottom-right corner.

Potato patch

In case you’re not interested in seeing soil then here’s some bonus pictures for you. My parents-in-law have a rooster with some chickens (two of which are these)…

Rooster and hen

Naturally that makes for this:

Fresh eggs

… and as if that wasn’t excitement enough, we’re also cat-sitting for a friend at the moment, so now you can all enjoy a picture of a cute kitten. Everyone say “d’awwwww”!

Copycat

Ocean Pie

It’s Mother’s Day in Sweden today, so have a great day all you moms out there – Swedish or otherwise. Enjoy the Ocean Pie and I’ll be back soon!

Ocean Pie

Ocean Pie
Serves 6
A delicious, warming ocean pie, flecked with green asparagus, yellow corn and chunks of white fish.
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
For the filling
  1. 300g Potatoes, peeled and diced
  2. 400g White Fish Fillets (e.g. Alaskan Pollock or Cod)
  3. 280g Sweetcorn
  4. 250g Asparagus
  5. 2 medium Onions
  6. 50g Butter
  7. 4tbsps Flour
  8. 500ml Milk
  9. 100ml Water
For the topping
  1. 600g Potatoes, peeled
  2. 150g Carrots, grated
  3. 200g Mozzarella, grated
  4. 50g Butter
  5. 100ml Milk
Instructions
  1. Start off by preparing the filling. Peel and then finely chop the onions. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add in the onions. Sauté until browning slightly.
  2. Add in the flour to the onions and stir well. Continue to cook while stirring for a few minutes until the flour has browned slightly. Next mix together the water and milk and add into the pan with the onions, bit by bit, stirring well between each addition, until you have quite a thick, but smooth sauce.
  3. Add in the potatoes and sweetcorn. Slice the fish into good sized chunks and add in as well, before snapping the ends off the asparagus spears. Discard the ends and slice the heads up into chunks and adding to the pot.
  4. Reduce the heat a little and allow to simmer gently until the potato chunks are cooked through.
  5. While the filling is cooking, prepare the topping. Boil the potatoes and then finely mash them with the butter and milk. Stir in the grated carrots and mozzarella cheese.
  6. Once the filling is ready, transfer to a large, deep, oven-proof dish and top with the mashed-potato topping - smoothing out with a fork or similar implement to create a nice-looking surface.
  7. Preheat your oven to about 170 degrees Celsius. Place the pie into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. For the last 5 minutes of cooking, turn on your grill (broiler) to allow the topping to crisp up.
  8. Serve immediately.
Five Euro Food http://www.fiveeurofood.com/

Comments

  1. says

    Your fish pie or ocean pie look great Charles, I love how swirly you made the potatoes. I originally thought you called it ocean pie because of the swirls, they look like the shape one of those wind funnels make on the ocean.
    Your vegetable gardens will be great and you’re so fortunate to have hens to lay eggs.
    Hope your web design business is going well too, you have a lot on the go.

    • says

      Hi Eva, thanks a lot… I’ll let you in on a secret – the potato would have just been lumped on and smoothed over with a fork but because I made the filling so “saucy” I ended up having to pipe it, lol! I reduced the liquid used in the filling in the recipe so anyone following the recipe shouldn’t have that problem!

      It never rains but it pours, they say – trying to juggle three projects for my freelancing right now, along with my own blog, family and so on… so much to do!

  2. says

    Hello, stranger. I guess you’ve been very busy with school, work and family.

    If you came to my house you could dig to your heart’s delight in the back yard with no hopes of hitting ANY boulders. There are a lot of weed roots to get through first … but underneath is most well manured soil for growing vegetables you can imagine. :)

    I can’t recall if I’d ever heard of the naked neck chickens before but your rooster is very attractive and the kitten. Well, awwww is right. :) I know what you mean about not pretty pies but if they’re tasty, as yours likely is, that doesn’t matter. (Like with my mom’s scalloped potatoes, sausage, eggs casserole it’s all about the eating.)

    • says

      Crazy busy – as I mentioned to Eva, I’ve got three not “small” projects going on for my freelance work right now, and that’s in addition to my own blog, family, garden work etc. Eek!

      I must say – naked neck chickens aren’t a breed I’d have chosen… the eggs they lay are really small, and they look just… horrible. Like they had a terrible accident with a lawnmower or something :p.

  3. says

    Love the ocean pie…and the name you came up with for it! You’ve been busy, Charles, and I hope your garden grows well. That is a very cute kitten. :) Happy Mother’s Day to all those mother’s out there.

  4. says

    It’s so nice to see a slice of your life in Sweden. Potatoes and rocks don’t do so well together but I look forward to what you’ll get growing. Those chickens sure look healthy!

    The pie looks very good.

    • says

      Thanks Maureen – I really thought I’d done a “good thing” by struggling so hard to remove the other two boulders, and then I find two more even bigger ones. Seriously not cool :(

  5. says

    It never gets cold enough here for frost! What a shame about all those boulders! I do hope you find enough space for your potatoes. I love the look of your pie – it looks very warm and comforting. How fabulous to have your own chickens laying eggs! And that’s a gorgeous wee cat xx

    • says

      Yeah, I think I’ll have enough space, but not as much as I’d have liked, but to be honest, potatoes are probably the least useful thing to grow since they’re just so darn cheap!

  6. says

    Looks like you’ve been busy digging for boulders :) It’s great though that you’re planting stuff, the hard work doesn’t feel so hard especially when you get the fruits of your labour! The fish pie looks pretty dang good! I’ve laws wanted to make one but feared the same reaction from my family as you did from your readers! Kids can be harsh like that!
    Maybe I’ll try one this autumn. It’s summery here now (though we had snow 10 days ago)and all the produce is beginning to sprout at the markets. Hope your wife had a lovely Mother’s Day.

    • says

      I bought some potatoes this week and only ate half of each bag to let the others start shooting. I’ve got some called “apache”, which have a weird rose / yellow mottled skin, and some others called “Blue Congo”, which are bright blue… can’t wait to try growing them.

  7. says

    very cool! I’ve never seen a naked neck chicken before — it must look initially like something’s wrong (or missing) – how many chickens do your in-laws have and do they supply enough eggs for their family? (or do they still need to supplement with store-bought ones). A friend of mine is raising backyard chickens and I’m learning so much through her; I find it fascinating to have this connection to food and land… so I actually love seeing your dirt pictures Charles and reading about your adventures there too (that’s a lot of hidden rock!). Boy, that cat/kitten is just so captivating — gorgeous colours! A calico, I guess; beautiful.

    • says

      Like something’s missing? Well, I think they look like they’ve had a terrible accident with a lawnmower or something. My in-laws have 4 hens and 1 rooster (they did have 3 roosters but… well, suffice to say 2 are no more and we ate very well that night :p). They bought them all as chicks and it’s a bit hit and miss when buying chicks… (did you know it’s pretty much impossible to sex chicks? – There’s even a world-famous company in Korea of “chicken sexing experts” who are hired by chicken farms in the US to detect which gender the incoming chicks are. They can guarantee a successful detection rate of something crazy like 99.9%).

      They didn’t choose the breeds for their laying qualities… better layers do exist. In fact these were chosen because they liked the look of them. At the moment the hens will lay from 1 – 3 eggs per day… two is the norm, so if you wanted to make sure you had enough eggs for your family, and they were big egg eaters, then you’d probably want to make sure you had at least 4 hens of a breed well known for laying. If you’re not such big egg eaters – for example, my wife and I will usually average out at eating maybe 3 each a week, plus some extras for baking and the like – the good thing is is that eggs will keep for ages. I heard that they wash them in the US so they go off really fast, but an egg fresh from a hen will keep for a couple of months or more.

      • says

        Great image re: the lawnmover – lol – and thanks for all the info… I had no idea that it was difficult to identify the gender of chicks — I’ll have to ask my friend about that… she didn’t seem to have any issues ordering females. I’ll investigate more; love learning about all this stuff.

  8. says

    Ha ha ha, cute post. The kitten really melt my heart. How long you cat sitting? I hope it’s not too long, otherwise too attached and you want to keep it? An another excellent recipe I would like to try.
    Your garden is promising. We just stated ours a few days ago too. Best of luck!

    • says

      Just for a weekend… it was very cute to have a little kitty around the house again (especially since mine had to be put to sleep a few months ago :( ) but sadly my wife was pretty allergic to it so I don’t think we’ll be able to catsit again :(

  9. shashi @ runninsrilankan says

    Growing up my mom made a fish casserole with potatoes, pasta, corn, fish and milk and green peppers – so your “Fish pie” aka “Ocean pie” sounds delish to me!

    My yard is plagued with giant roots instead of boulders! Happy Planting – looking forward to your future harvest, Charles.

    • says

      Oh, I’ve got roots AND boulders and weeds which just won’t DIE. I weeded the potato patch, and we’ve recently had a load of rain… I checked it today and it was like I’d planted seeds everywhere, it was so green!

  10. says

    Charles, that kitten is adorable. I wouldn’t dare cat-sit it, else I’d have a hard time giving it back! I’ve never made a fish pie. Nothing objectionable in it, but it just didn’t sound good. However, ocean pie sounds quite appealing!

    • says

      Thanks Jean – unfortunately my wife was quite allergic to kitty so I don’t think we’ll be catsitting again :(

      You should try the pie – it was very nice!

  11. says

    Seeing the words “filling” and “topping” made me excited. I’m sure your company of furry and feathery friends are just as excited with that dish :)

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

  12. says

    Your land looks similar to our New Hampshire piece of property with all the trees and boulders. From what you dug up so far, it looks like the makings of a beautiful rock wall like the ones New England is famous for. As farmers cleared their land, they would pile the rocks at the edges of their property. Good luck with your garden…my tomatoes and peppers were just planted a couple of days ago. Your ocean pie sounds good and I think is quite good looking as well.

    • says

      Thanks Karen, I really hope everything grows well and I get no problems. It’s the first time since I was a kid that I get to plant in a “real” garden, as opposed to boxes on a balcony, so I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  13. says

    Charles, I think that first of all your pie does look very tasty and secondly the name “Fish Pie” is appetising as much as “Ocean Pie”. Secondly thumbs up for your garden! It must be so exciting to grow your own vegetables… I am all excited to sow herb seeds on my humble tiny balcony, so I can imagine how happy you are to have a real garden to experiment in! Keep us informed about the development.

    • says

      Hi Sissi, I hope they grow well… I put out the tomatoes and squash and peppers into the greenhouse on Saturday. It was a long job because I had to clear out the greenhouse and weed it first. Of course, it was a really hot day, and doing hard work in a greenhouse under hot sun is not fun!

      I don’t hold much hope for my leeks sadly, but we’ll see…

  14. says

    I am so happy you finally have your garden Charles! I can’t wait to see the results and them what you cook up! I can’t believe you’re still in danger of frost though! Wow! And the kitten….too cute! I love his markings. :) So an ocean pie. This is intriguing. I never thought about fish in a pie, although I did make a casserole with it (cooking recipes from Greenland). If you say it’s good, I’ll trust you! :)

    • says

      Thanks Kristy – one day when we’ve moved into our own place and I can call all the land my own, including having a collection of out-buildings, I’d like to have big freezers and grow on a larger scale and then preserve the excess – either by freezing or canning, so I can ensure that I have delicious vegetables ready for me in the winter months!

  15. says

    Fun post Charles! I was wondering in a previous post when you were talking about the high cost of things there, if Sweden actually had a long enough growing season to have a garden. Well, now you have answered my question. Looks like you are off to a good start, but I can’t believe you still have a month left before you can actually plant. That’s a short season! Good luck! Your started plants look like they are doing very well. Now for the pie – good call on the name. Ocean Pie definitely sounds better than fish pie. Looking through the recipe, I bet this is a DElicious pie. Looks relatively easy as well. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi MJ – yes, it definitely does, but you have to be really on top of things. Summer literally has a tendency to just suddenly “start”. One day, ice is still everywhere, and a week later bang, it’s summer, so you need to plan ahead.

      The summer seems to be progressing nicely, so I took a chance and planted outside already – fingers crossed!

  16. says

    Never had fish in pie before and now that I know there is such thing exist, I am in love with your ocean pie!!! Sounds amazing. I love pie and seafood… this is such a comfort food in one! Growing beets in your garden? I’m jealous… I’d love to have lots of beets in my garden… :)

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