Happy St. Patrick's Day

After a very exciting weekend of rugby, Ireland not only have the victory of the Six Nations but today celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.  The public holiday will no doubt be welcomed by many following Saturday’s win. 

image from https://www.london.gov.uk/get-involved/events/st-patricks-day-parade-and-festival-2014

image from https://www.london.gov.uk/get-involved/events/st-patricks-day-parade-and-festival-2014

It may be obvious, but when I think of Ireland I think of potatoes.  Potatoes are a great vehicle for other vegetables.  Now I rarely make just mash potato, it would be mashed potato with butternut squash or mashed potato with carrots.  I occasionally use swede but my young daughters prefer other flavours such as parsnip or sweet potato, which secretly pleases me as I am not that fussed on swede either!  

The addition of vegetables to mash potato is perfect for those children who turn their noses up at vegetables as they won’t notice you have fortified their mash just a little.  With extra vegetables brings more nutrients making the meal nutrient rich and balanced.

A dish I pretty much make on a weekly basis is fish pie.  I vary the mash topping depending on what I have available in the cupboard. I have been known to mash potato with either one of the vegetables listed or occasionally use them all!  I also add frozen peas to the fish base for good measure.  

Click to link to NHSchoices page on fish and shellfish

Click to link to NHSchoices page on fish and shellfish

It is recommended that we include fish in our diet twice a week with one of these as oily fish.  Oily fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which may help prevent heart disease and is important in helping to develop the nervous system in unborn babies.  I am sure you are aware that mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout fit under the heading of oily fish but what about tuna?  Sadly tinned tuna has had most of the omega-3 fatty acids removed during the canning process so is not a good source but fresh certainly is.

Here is my fish pie recipe


500g       Fish (haddock, plaice, cod, salmon) or 2 packets (260g/pack) Fish Pie Mix

125g        Dill and Mustard Sauce

60ml        Milk

1/2        Lemon - juice and zest (not essential)

100g         Frozen Peas

300g         Potatoes

200g        Combination of sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash, parsnip, swede

80g         Butter/Margarine



Preheat oven at 180’C or Gas Mark 4

Peel and cut the potatoes and veg into small pieces and boil until tender; approx 20 mins

Place the fish in an oven proof rectangular dish (approx 12 inch x 9 inch x 2 inch deep) - if not using the fish pie mix then skin the fish and cut into small chunks

Dot the Dill and Mustard Sauce over the fish

Pour the milk evenly over the fish then the zest and juice of half a lemon 

Spread the peas evenly over the fish

Mash the cooked potato and veg with half the butter/marg and a splash of milk

Top the fish with the mash and dot the remaining butter/marg over the mash - oil works just as well

Cook for 45 mins or until golden brown