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    Fish in Filo Pastry with Saffron Cream Sauce

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    Fish in Filo Pastry with Saffron Cream Sauce

    • Preparation time: 80 minutes
    • Cooking time: 15 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes 60 minutes 35 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 250g raw tiger prawn tails in their shells
    • ½ stick celery, finely chopped
    • 500g mixed fish fillets, such as salmon and cod or haddock
    • ½ garlic clove, chopped
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 8 sheets filo pastry
    • 50g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
    • 50ml double cream
    • Sauce
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 100ml white wine
    • ¼ celery stalk, cut into 3
    • 2 shallots, sliced
    • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
    • 1 small bunch parsley
    • 5 black peppercorns
    • Sprig of fresh rosemary
    • ¼ bay leaf
    • 100ml double cream
    • Pinch of saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
    • 1 large tomato, skinned deseeded and chopped
    • 1 tbsp cornflour (optional)


    1. Shell the prawn tails, saving the shells, then make a slit down the back of each prawn and remove the black digestive cord.
    2. Bring 500ml water to the boil. Add the celery and the fish and simmer for four minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon. When it is cool enough to handle, pull the flesh away from the skin. Break the fish into small chunks, removing any bones. Set aside.
    3. Add the prawns to the poaching liquid and cook for 1 minute.
    4. Remove them with a slotted spoon and add to the fish. Strain the celery from the liquid and discard, while reserving the liquid for the sauce.
    5. Mix the cooked fish and prawns with the garlic and cream. Season.
    6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4 and butter a baking sheet.
    7. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a heavy pan. Add the prawn shells and cook them until they are pink. Add the wine and let it bubble up to deglaze the pan. Then add the celery, shallots, carrot, parsley, peppercorns, rosemary, bay leaf and the poaching liquid from the fish. Simmer for 25 minutes, remove from the heat and pass through a fine sieve back into a clean pan.
    8. Meanwhile take a sheet of filo pastry, keeping the others under a damp tea towel. Cut the sheet into two 15cm squares. Take one square and brush with a little melted butter, place the other square on top at a 45° angle, so you have an eight-pointed star. Brush the edges of the top square with melted butter then place a heaped tbsp of the fish mixture in the centre. Bring up the edges and crimp them together. Repeat with the rest of the filo and fish so that you have eight parcels in all. Put the filo parcels on the buttered sheet, brush them with the remaining butter and bake for 12-15 minutes.
    9. Add the cream, the soaked saffron and the chopped tomato to the strained sauce and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat. Season. If you prefer the sauce a little thicker, mix 1 tbsp cornflour with a little of the sauce, then return to the rest of the sauce and cook until thickened. Serve the parcels hot, two per person, on a pool of sauce with steamed green vegetables.

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