Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes

You will need:

  • 500g/1 lb 2oz medium-sized potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 3 tbsp hot horseradish sauce
  • 500g/1 lb 2oz smoked mackerel fillets
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 200g/7oz fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • sunflower or vegetable oil, for shallow frying

How to do it… Continue reading

Tasty Seafood Sauce

This delicious sauce makes a great savoury filling for a pancake or as a superb alternative in a lasagne…

You will need:

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1 litre pints full-fat milk, warmed
  • salt and black pepper to season
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1 lemon – zest only
  • 500g assorted raw fish and shellfish, according to season (I like a mix of smoked salmon, haddock, and tiger prawns)
     
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 100g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 small plum tomatoes, chopped into halves

How to do it:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and stir for 2-3 minutes minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Season to taste and add the nutmeg and lemon zest, then whisk until well combined. Cook the sauce for another five minutes, then fold in the fish and mushrooms, then take off heat. Add the tarragon and tomatoes and leave to stand for a further three minutes or so.

Enjoy!

Sticky Toffee Winter Pudding

You will need:

  • 125g/4½oz dates, stones removed, chopped
  • 75ml/2¾fl oz water
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g/1¾oz butter, unsalted, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g/6oz demerara sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 100g/3½oz mincemeat
  • 1 tbsp chopped glacé cherries
  • 175g/6oz self-raising flour

and for the source:

  • 150g/5½oz butter
  • 150g/5½oz soft dark brown sugar
  • 150ml/5½fl oz double cream, plus extra to serve
  • 100g/3½oz dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), grated

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Heat the dates, water and bicarbonate of soda in a saucepan over a low heat until simmering, stirring well to combine. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the dates break down into a paste. Remove the date mixture from the heat and set aside to cool a little.

Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl, then mix in the eggs, cooleddate mixture, mincemeat and glacé cherries until well combined. Do this a little at a time, starting with the eggs and beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in gently. Grease six 100ml/4fl oz pudding basins with butter and line the bottom with a disc of greaseproof paper. Divide the batter among the six pudding basins, then place the pudding basins into a roasting tin and bake for 25- 30 mins, or until until well-risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, for the sauce, heat the butter, sugar and cream together over a high heat for 5-6 minutes, or until it is a smooth mixture. Remove from the heat and whisk in the grated chocolate until smooth. To serve, turn the puddings out onto each of six serving plates, spoon the sauce on top and drizzle over some cream.

I first saw a variant of this cooked by Simon Rimmer on “Something for the Weekend”. You don’t have to just keep it as a Christmas dish, though.