Friday, October 06, 2006

Smoked Mackerel Pate with Ricotta, Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Goats’ Cheese Mash, Spiced Bread Pudding with Brandy Cream

Last night I knocked up Smoked Mackerel Pate with Ricotta, Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Goats’ Cheese Mash and Spiced Bread Pudding with Brandy Cream. I was pretty proud of all three dishes. Here's the science!

Smoked Mackerel Pate with Ricotta

Serves 8


4 smoked mackerel fillets (275g)
110g ricotta
150 ml soured cream
juice ½ large lemon
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly milled black pepper


1 heaped tablespoon miniature capers
cayenne pepper
1 large lemon, cut into wedges

You will also need 8 small, deep ramekins with a 100ml


Skin the mackerel fillets
Place the fish into the bowl of a food processor, then add the ricotta, soured cream and lemon juice, a good seasoning of salt, black pepper and the freshly grated nutmeg.
Blend until completely smooth.
Pack the mixture into the individual ramekins or the serving dish, cover with clingfilm and chill for several hours before serving.

When serving, place about half a teaspoon of the capers in the centre of each ramekin and sprinkle with a touch of cayenne pepper. Garnish with the watercress and lemon wedges and serve with wholemeal toast.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Goats’ Cheese Mash

Serves 4


110g dried black-eyed beans, pre-soaked and drained
75g green split peas, rinsed
75g green lentils, rinsed
50g peeled carrots
50g peeled swede
50g peeled celeriac
1 large onion, peeled
1 small green pepper, deseeded
50g butter, plus a little extra for greasing
225g tomatoes
1 heaped tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary, thyme and parsley
¼ level teaspoon ground mace
¼ level teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
salt and freshly milled black pepper
salt and freshly milled black pepper
salt and freshly milled black pepper


110g soft goats’ cheese
700g potatoes, peeled
50g butter
2 tablespoons milk
25g Pecorino cheese, grated
salt and freshly milled black pepper

You will need a round baking dish with a diameter of 9 inches, 2 inches deep, buttered.


You will need to soak and drain the black-eyed beans. To do this, wash them under cold, running water and discard any broken ones. If it is convenient, soak them overnight in 2 pints cold water. If you haven’t got time to do this, boil for 10 minutes and leave them to soak for two hours before draining.

Put the drained beans into a saucepan with the split peas and lentils. Add 725ml boiling water and some salt, cover and simmer gently for 50-60 minutes, or until the pulses have absorbed the water and are soft. Then remove them from the heat and mash them just a little with a large fork.

Now pre-heat the oven to 190°C, and put the potatoes on to boil. Next, roughly chop all the vegetables, pile the whole lot into a food processor and process until chopped small. Next, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the vegetables and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring now and then until they’re softened and tinged gold at the edges.

Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes. Place them in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water on to them. After exactly a minute (or 15-30 seconds, if they are small), remove them (protecting your hands with a cloth if the tomatoes are hot), slip off their skins and slice them.

Add the vegetables to the pulses mixture, along with the herbs, spices and salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste. Then spoon the mixture into the baking dish and arrange the tomatoes in overlapping slices on the top.

As soon as the potatoes are cooked, place them in a bowl, add the butter, milk and goats’ cheese, whisk to a smooth purée, season with salt and freshly milled black pepper and spread the potato over the rest of the ingredients in the dish. Finally, sprinkle over the Pecorino and bake the pie on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. If you want to prepare this in advance, it will need about 40 minutes in the oven.

Spiced Bread Pudding with Brandy Cream

Serves 6


Bread pudding

225g white or brown bread, crusts removed
2 teaspoons mixed spice
whole nutmeg
110g sultanas
25g currants
25g raisins
50g whole candied lemon or orange peel, chopped
3 tablespoons brandy
275ml milk
50g butter, melted, plus a little extra for greasing
75g dark soft brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
grated zest ½ orange
grated zest 1 lemon
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

Brandy Sauce:

1 dessertspoon brandy
150ml double cream
25g golden caster sugar

You will also need a baking dish with 6 x 8 inches , 1¾ inches deep, buttered.


Place the sultanas, currants, raisins and candied peel in a bowl. Pour over the brandy and leave aside to marinate. Then, in a large bowl, break the bread into ½ inch pieces. Add the milk, then give the mixture a good stir and leave it for about 30 minutes so the bread becomes well soaked. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Mix the melted butter, sugar, mixed spice and beaten egg together and then add to the second bowl. Now, using a fork, beat the mixture well, making sure there are no lumps, then stir in the marinated fruits, with any brandy remaining, and also the orange and lemon zest.

After that, spread the mixture in the baking dish and sprinkle the sugar over it, along with some freshly grated nutmeg. Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for about 1¼ hours. Meanwhile, whisk together the ingredients for the brandy cream and serve it with the pudding warm from the oven.



Anonymous Skry said...

Dude that was a fantastic meal! Credit where credit's due, it was probably the best meal any of us have cooked in a while (imo). And that's good going, cause some of the recent meals have been very nice! :D

1:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

credit where credit's due indeed - Delia Smith! You should really put a source on your recipes.

1:49 am  

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