Each night of the five-day hike, we were the guests of a local rural village woman. These are the women of our country who have to make a living out of nothing. Yet they feed children, grandchildren, themselves and any person who would happen upon their homes, come mealtimes.
The shops in the villages have little stock, just empty shelves filled with the promise of a delivery “sometime next week”. Still, meals are made, on a primus stove with only one pot.
There are certain items that always seem to be in stock, no matter which shop you stop at: One of which is Lucky Fish Pilchards. So we were blessed by generous women, making a feast for us each night from a tin of pilchards, cabbage or spinach (whatever veggie they can grow themselves) and a starch, usually samp or mealie meal.
This recipe is to show that it is not what you don’t have that makes a difference, but what you make from what you do have..
This is my weekly submission to Freshly Blogged competition, if you would like to vote for this recipe -
|Fish Pie with Braised Cabbage|
For the fish pie:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup brine (from feta), mixed with 1/2 cup cold water
For the filling:
1 cup PnP brown rice
Water (to cook rice)
1 disc of PnP feta cheese
1 cup green beans, topped and tailed and diced
1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
1 can Lucky Star Pilchards in Tomato Sauce (400g), drained
1 egg to brush pastry
4-5 eggs, boiled and quartered (to garnish)
For the cabbage:
1 whole head of cabbage, shredded
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp Aromat seasoning
Splash of water
To make the pastry: In a food processor, blend the cold butter and flour. Add the egg and then slowly add the other liquid, until a soft ball forms. Remove from processor, wrap in cling wrap and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
To assemble: Roll out cold dough on a well-floured surface, to create a disc about 3mm thick.
Add a layer of rice mixture to about 8cm from edge of pastry. Top with green beans. Arrange Pilchards on top of the beans. Top with mushrooms. Lightly fold in the sides to form a free-form pie, leaving the centre open. Trim excess pastry. Place on heat-proof plate. Brush with egg wash.
To cook in a 'Dutch oven': In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, place a metal trivet on the base.
Preheat the pot on a high heat. Place the plate with the pie on the trivet, replace the lid of the saucepan and reduce heat to medium. 'Bake' for about 55-60 minutes, until golden brown and pastry is cooked through.
For the rice:
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet. Once cooked, crumble in the feta, stir and allow to cool.
For the cabbage:
Braise all the ingredients until soft, about 20 minutes.