Last week I said that I’d share the recipe Daf and I created as one of our “date jar” activities, so to stay true to my word…here it is. I love trying to think of different flavours that go together but often need some inspiration. During the February half term, Daf and I were fortunate enough to snatch two nights away at the beautiful Lake Country House. The food there is often exquisite. On the night we chose to have dinner there, my starter inspired me to recreate something as delicious, but a little more accessible, for the average Joe like me.
The basis of this recipe was choux pastry. I have never made this before, but I have to say it worked very well. We used Richard Bertinet’s recipe from his pastry book. The method was foolproof. We did, however, cook the pastry for double the amount of time he suggests and that turned out to be perfect (Daf had made a note next to the recipe so he’d obviously tried it before and figured that out).
The little profiterole-style buns we then separated in half and filled with a smoked fish pate. We experimented a little more with the garnishes and I will share both with you so you can take your pick.
Smoked fish pate
2 fillets smoked fish (your choice – we went for smoked haddock)
Handful wild garlic
Small wine glass white wine
2 tbsp cream cheese
Black pepper and lemon juice to taste
Small asparagus fronds
Lemon rind strips
Place the fish in a foil parcel with the garlic and white wine.
Cook at 180°C for 20 minutes (until fish is cooked through and flaky)
Drain off excess liquid into a small saucepan and put on a low heat. Add your lemon rind to the saucepan and cook gently until pretty much all the liquid is absorbed (this was just happening as we did everything else).
Allow the fish to cool and then flake into a small bowl or food processor (depending on how smooth you want it – I chose to keep it a little more flaky to mix up the textures a bit).
Add the cream cheese, lemon juice and black pepper. Mix until combined.
When your profiteroles are cool VERY CAREFULLY (they’re fragile) cut almost in half (I left a sort-of hinge) and fill with the fish pate.
Garnish with the lemon rind and peeled strips of celery or small asparagus fronds (we were very lucky as when we moved to our house we were left behind an asparagus plant and so every year we have a small crop. These include some lovely fat, juicy pieces, but also some much finer ones which worked perfectly when blanched for 1 minute in boiling water).
Serve up with a nice cold glass of white wine (if you’re not pregnant that is!! – oops – that’ll have to be another post!!).