You’ll remember the ingredients of the fish pie, as they came out of the Mindful Chef box. A sweet potato, spinach, a can of coconut milk, some cornflour and paprika, some beans.
The recipe was easy enough to follow, but they had you doing a lot of things at the same time. This is all in the cause of the “30 minute cooking” that has become popular, where while you are waiting for your leeks to brown (less than 5 minutes) you go and chop something else. Of course, blink and your leeks are doing more than brown.
So while I did it without a problem, I don’t know if the recipe would encourage someone new to cooking from scratch, which is what I thought these boxes were supposed to be promoting. But I think it looked fairly decent on the plate, and it tasted nice.
My criticisms of method? Their recipe had you make a sweet potato mash, then basically cook the fish mixture on the hob, put into a dish, top with the potato and then brown under a grill. I think I would far rather make the mash, make the sauce for the fish pie, then put the sauce, spinach and raw fish into the dish, topped with mash, and then cook it in a proper oven for 20-25 minutes. That brings together the flavours, allows the sauce to thicken properly and means the mash is nice and crispy on top. I think I would also sprinkle some parmesan or breadcrumbs on top. Done under the grill, the mash tasted fine, but it looked a bit insipid on the plate – I wanted to see a potato crust.
Doing it this way would make it a longer job, but less hectic, as you could concentrate on each part with plenty of time.
I was also puzzled by the recipe’s instruction to add the beans to the boiling sweet potato after 5 mins, then separate and “keep warm”. Of course, the beans were cold by the time everything else was ready, so had to be blitzed in the microwave. Green veg should be the last thing to be cooked, not the first.
Finally, with regard to the ingredients. I think I prefer a mixture of white and smoked fish, it adds a different dimension to the flavour; and although I liked the idea of using coconut milk for the fish sauce, I couldn’t actually tell the difference between it and ordinary milk. So I am not convinced it adds anything but a point for precociousness
So while I was totally happy with the meal, and the portion was more generous than with Goustro, it didn’t make me go online and order the next box.
The second meal – a squash risotto – I’ll deal with next week.