While most Americans think of corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, seafood and fish dishes are in many ways more traditional Irish fare. Savory pies and cobblers are favorites throughout the region, either wrapped in flaky pastry, or baked under a thick layer of mashed potato crust, like this preparation. This is a hearty, delicious way to start your evening – and will help soak up all the Guinness and whiskey that comes later!

You will need:

For the pastry –

  • 1/3 c plus 1 T shortening
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 – 3 T cold water
For the filling:
  • 1 lb. scallops
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 c chopped leek
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. dry mustard
  • black pepper
  • 1 1/2 c half and half
  • dry white wine
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 T water
1. Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl, and then cut the shortening into the flour mixture, using a pastry cutter or a pair of knives.  Continue to work the shortening and flour until the chunks are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle in the water 1 T at a time and blend with a fork until the flour is moistened and the dough pulls the flour from the sides of the bowl.  Shape the dough into a ball and then flatten it into a round.  Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator as you prepare the filling.

2. Preheat oven to 425.  Cut the scallops into 1-inch pieces.  Heat 2 T of butter in a large skillet and add the mushrooms and leek.  Saute until the mushrooms release their liquid and turn light brown.  Once the liquid evaporates, remove the vegetables from the skillet and set them aside.  

3.  Heat 2 more T of butter in the skillet until hot.  Add the scallops and cook until they are opaque but not chewy – about 4 minutes.  Remove them from the skillet with a slotted spoon, then reserve the liquid.

4.  Heat the remaining butter in the skillet over low heat, and stir in the flour, salt, mustard and pepper.  Cook until smooth and bubbly, stirring constantly.  

5.  Pour the scallop liquid into a measuring cup, and add white wine until you have 1/3 cup of liquid.  Add that to the half and half, then bring to a boil, still stirring.  Let cook another minute or so, then add the mushrooms and scallops.  Remove from heat.

6.  Pour the filling into a shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.

7.  Unwrap the pastry and place it on a well-floured board.  Roll the dough into a sheet an inch larger than the casserole all around.  Cut out designs from the center of the dough – this is not only decorative, as it allows steam to escape and the liquid to bubble through and evaporate.  

8.  Place the pastry over the top of the casserole, turn the edges under, pinch them to seal, then flute the edges, using your thumb and forefingers as pincers.  Beat together the egg yolks and water, then brush the mixture over the top of the pastry.  

9.  Bake until golden brown – about 25 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges.

Irish Seafood Pie
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