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Michael Ball Show Creamy Fish Pie

So, as I mentioned on my last blog, I had been having fun recently filming for the new Michael Ball show on ITV. There are 6 recipes in total that I cooked with Michael for specific guests. The Cornish Pasties I have already posted, but I thought I should get the remaining ones on my blog for anyone to try out. They are:

Creamy Fish Pie

Chicken Satay with Mango and Cucumber Salad

Kids Fishcakes

Chocolate Pancakes with Flambeed Cherries

Aromatic Prawn Curry


This was cooked for the amazing katie Piper, who was telling her story of how her life has changed as a result of a horrific acid attack. She has since set up the Katy Piper Foundation to help people live with burns and scars

Serves 4

For the topping:

1kg potatoes such as Maris Piper or Desiree
100ml single cream
100g cream cheese

For the filling:

50g butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
50g plain flour
400ml full fat milk
350g white fish such as haddock, cod, pollock etc fillets, skinned and cut into small chunks
350g salmon fillet, skinned and cut into small chunks
2 eggs, hard boiled
1 tablespoon chopped dill
grated zest of 1 lemon
a squeeze of lemon

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan ovens/gas 6.

Peel and quarter the potatoes. Place in a saucepan of cold salted water and bring up to the boil. Cook for around 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. Drain well and return to the pan. Heat the single cream and cream together until the cheese has melted into the cream, then mash into the potato until the mash is smooth. For a super smooth potato, press through a potato ricer.

To prepare the filling, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and bay leaf, and cook until the onion is softened but not coloured. Stir in the flour, cooking for about 30 seconds before gradually adding the milk. Bring to a simmer, cooking for a couple of minutes until you have smooth, thick sauce. Stir in the fish, dill, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, and cook for a few minutes.

Peel the hard boiled eggs and coarsely or finely chop. Stir into the sauce then spoon into either individual dishes or one large one to share.

Place the potato into a piping bag and pipe on top of the filing. To prevent the top becoming crisp, cover with foil, and place in the oven for about 20 minutes until the filling is bubbling over the edges of the dish.

Michael Ball Show Cornish Pasty

I’ve been having great fun recently filming cookery sections on the new Michael Ball Show. It’s on at 3pm weekdays on ITV 1 and full of entertainment, chat, music and of course a little bit of cooking. Today I met Penny Smith (GMTV fame), Brian Conley (mr funny man) and a very talented West end star, Kerry Ellis who was accompanied by a rock legend…Brian May. He was amazing.

As for the cooking  – I was briefed by the production team to cook something for a group of ladies called the Red Wheelies. They are all sufferers of MS and have created their own formation display team on mobility scooters. Great fun ladies with a sense of humour and doing a brilliant job at raising awareness of multiple sclerosis in a positive light.

I decided it would be fun to make some Cornish Pasties due to their practicality to eat when on the move and of course their delicious flavour.

Here’s the recipe for you to try. I will post previous recipes from the show over the next few blogs, and I will also post the next few recipes from the show after I have done them (due to be Monday 6th Sept and Wednesday 8th Sept).


For the pastry

400g plain flour

100g butter, chilled and cubed

100g lard, chilled and cubed

cold water to mix

Beaten egg, to glaze

For the filling

1 medium-large potato, about 175g, peeled weight

175g swede, peeled weight

400g braising steak, cut into small pieces (0.5-1cm big)

1 large onion, finely chopped

Freshly ground white pepper

25g butter


Make the pastry first. Season the flour and sift into a large bowl. Add the butter and lard and rub them into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with 6-7 tablespoons of chilled water (enough to just bind the dough) and draw the mixture together with a round-bladed knife.

Turn onto a floured work surface and knead gently to bring together then wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Pre-heat the oven to 220C/200C fan ovens/gas 7.

To make the filling, slice potato and swede into thin, small pieces about 1-2cm across.

Dust the work surface with flour. Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a small plate cut out four circles (around 15cm diameter). Moisten the edge with milk or water and support half of the pastry nearest to you over the rolling pin. On the other half, put a small layer of prepared vegetables then a layer of beef, seasoning with salt and freshly ground white pepper as you go. Repeat this once but be careful not to have too much filling as this will cause the pastry to burst during the cooking process.

Add a small knob of the butter and sprinkle a dusting of flour over the filling which will helps to make a gravy. Fold the other half of pastry that has been resting on the rolling pin over the filling and squeeze the half circle edges firmly together. Starting at the right side whilst supporting the left side with other hand, using first finger and thumb turn the edge over to form a crimp. Repeat this process all along the edge making sure you get a good seal.

Brush pasty with beaten egg wash and put a 1-2cm cut in the centre of the top to allow steam to escape. Sit on a baking tray and place in the hot oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan ovens/gas 4 or a further 45 minutes. If they are browning too quickly cover loosely with greased paper.

Cool slightly before eating.

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