Christmas Recipes to Freeze Ahead: Part 4

Often over the Christmas holiday period old friends suddenly arrive back in Yorkshire from far off lands, visiting parents and doing the rounds of old friends.  Not that I was ever a girl guide, but I love the thought of ‘being prepared’, and as long as I have time to defrost this next dish, my philosophy of having Christmas recipes to freeze ahead helps me to be able to feed my old friends whenever they drop in.

This recipe for Smoked Haddock, Prawn and Fennel Individual Fish Pies (what a long title!) is perfect for such a time.  Not just for Christmas, but for any time.  I always think that because of the time is takes to chop and mix and stir for some recipes, it makes sense to make a few at a time and freeze them.  Fish Pies seem to come to no harm in the freezer, as long as well-wrapped, and this one, with its added flavour of fennel and capers, is a very tasty addition to holiday meals.  I know many people have fish on Christmas Eve, and so this recipe would be perfect.

Recipe:  Smoked Haddock, Prawn & Fennel Individual Fish Pies

Freeze ahead individual fish pies.
Recipe:  Smoked Haddock, Prawn & Fennel Fish Pies
(courtesy of Channel 4
Recipe: Smoked Haddock, Prawn & Fennel Individual Fish Pies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook/Chill Time: 35 - 40 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 4 - 6

These Smoked Haddock, Prawn & Fennel Individual Fish Pies sound great Fish Pies for a special meal. If you want to make just one big pie find a suitably sized dish. There is a discrepancy with the Serving amounts - the recipe says to Serve 4, but is asks you to use 6 dishes, so I will grease the 6 dishes just in case. When I've made my pies, I will adjust this recipe to say how many individual servings it makes. But apart from that, it sounds a tasty pie, with the addition of fennel and capers. Looking forward to this one.


  • 75g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 25g plain flour
  • 300ml fish stock
  • 3 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 450g haddock, skinned, boned and cut into bit-sized pieces
  • 300g smoked haddock fillet, skinned boned and cut into bit-sized pieces
  • 250g medium raw peeled prawns
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • Small bunch of fresh chives, snipped
  • 1.25kg floury potatoes, such as maris piper, cubed
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 50g Parmesan or Gran Padano cheese


  1. Heat 25g of the butter in a medium pan until melted and foaming. Add the onion, fennel and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute until it begins to thicken.
  2. Gradually pour in the fish stock, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche.
  3. Season, then stir in the haddock, prawns, capers and herbs. Set aside.
  4. Put the potatoes in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 mins until tender. Drain well and return to the pan with the remaining butter, milk, seasoning and half the cheese. Mash well until smooth.
  5. Grease 6 x 350ml ovenproof dishes (big ramekins maybe?). Spoon the fish filling into these dishes. Either pipe the mashed potato mix on top, or gently top with the mash, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  6. To Freeze:
  7. At this stage, cool completely then wrap in freezerproof bags. Will freeze for at least a month. When ready to eat, defrost overnight in the fridge, bring back to room temperature and continue with the recipe.
  8. Preheat the over to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas6 and bake the pies for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is golden and the filling is cooked.
Another Christmas recipe to freeze ahead is Creamy Smoked Salmon, Leek and Potato Soup, a soup that is a bit special with the addition of Smoked Salmon, so another good one to have in your freezer ready for unexpected family or guests.

Recipe:  Creamy Smoked Salmon, Leek and Potato Soup Creamy Smoked Salmon, Leek & Potato Soup (courtesy of Good Food)
Creamy Smoked Salmon, Leek & Potato Soup
(courtesy of Good Food)


Recipe: Creamy Smoked Salmon, Leek & Potato Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook/Chill Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 8

This recipe for Creamy Smoked Salmon, Leek & Potato Soup sounds very different. I shall be making this very soon to try it out on Erik - he likes most things that are fishy, and loves soup, and I love soup and smoked salmon, so it sounds perfect for us. You could also add a tot of brandy in this when you add the stock and the cream and it would be like a bisque. Another perfect Christmas Recipe to Freeze Ahead.


  • Large knob of butter
  • 2 large leeks, halved, well washed and finely sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1kg floury potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 100ml double cream
  • 200g smoked salmon, cut into bite-sized strips (you could use a pack of smoked salmon trimmings)
  • Small bunch chives, snipped


  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the leeks and bay leaf. Cook over a low heat for 8 - 10 minutes or until the leek is really soft, then add the potatoes and stir through so that the potatoes are thoroughly coated in the butter.
  2. Pour over the stock and cream and bring to the simmer, then gently bubble for 10 - 15 mins until the potatoes are really tender.
  3. If freezing at this stage slightly undercook the potatoes, cool completely the freeze in a suitable container. Defrost thoroughly, place in a pan to finish cooking and continue the recipe as follows.
  4. Add two-thirds of the smoked salmon, stir though and season.
  5. Serve the soup in deep bowls, with the remaining smoked salmon strips scrunched on top, sprinkled with the chopped chives. Or you could put a dollop of thickly whisked double or sour cream on the salmon, with a spooful of caviar.

 More Christmas Recipes to Freeze Ahead coming soon ……

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