Saturday, 20 September 2008
Ask Foodycat II
Historically Hysterical has asked what to do with wild smoked salmon, some lovely looking smoked haddock and smoked garlic, brought back from a smokehouse during her recent sojourn in the Lake District.
Well I am glad she asked! With the smoked salmon I would probably just get some very good bread and a few lemons and make really superior smoked salmon sandwiches. That yummy rose champagne I was drinking last weekend would be just the thing. If you wanted to seriously gild the lily you could make a little herb butter to spread on the bread first but lets not go crazy. We go to a pub called the Bricklayer's Arms that has an onsite smokehouse, and the smoked fish platter they do as a starter is a superb example of this very simple treatment.
With the smoked haddock I only see 2 possible options. You make a kedgeree that Lizzy Bennett-Darcy would be proud to serve on the breakfast table at Pemberley, or you make a chowder of great beauty.
For the kedgeree, I would melt quite a large knob of butter (buttery kedgeree is good kedgeree) and saute 1tsp panch phora in it until the cumin seeds start to jump about, then add cooked and drained basmati rice to it. You have previously poached your haddock in some milk, so now you break it into big flakes and fold it carefully through the rice with some very finely chopped parsley and some quartered boiled eggs. You tip the whole lot into a baking dish, sprinkle a little of the milk from the poaching over it and dot the top with a few more bits of butter. Then put it in a 180C oven until it is piping hot but not shrivelled at the edges. Kedgeree is a brilliant supper dish with some salad, but it's pretty traditional for the sort of ye olde English breakfast where they have kidneys in chafing dishes and butlers.
For the chowder I would soften an onion in some butter and add some lardons of smoked bacon, then a potato cut into small cubes and a mixture of half milk and half fish stock. After a few minutes I would add the haddock, broken into flakes and the kernels from a corn cob (it really does make a huge difference to use corn freshly cut off the cob for this sort of thing). I'd let it simmer a few minutes until the corn is tender and then season with freshly ground pepper and garnish with chopped chives.
Smoked garlic is a funny one. I've had delicious smoked garlic butter (which is lovely tossed through pasta or smeared thickly on sourdough bread) but when I have bought smoked garlic cloves the smokiness hasn't really penetrated very much into the garlic. So I would probably use the garlic in a roast chicken, where a bit of subtle smoke would be delicious, or I would put a few cloves in while boiling the potatoes to make a smoked garlic mash.
Hope that helps!