Thursday, 29 December 2011

boxing day tea-time mackerel toasts

tea-time mackerel toasts
breakfast on christmas day was a wedge of white stilton with apricots on crisp toasted slices of gail's apricot and hazelnut bread accompanied by glasses of duval-leroy fluer de champagne. i love the citrus notes of this particular bubbly. we had this whilst watching nigel slater's simple christmas. my past two christmas' have featured a nigel slater recipe and this christmas is no exception. his tea-time mackerel toast recipe came handy on boxing day when o and i couldn't face eating any of our left-overs. i dialled back the richness of recipe by substituting creme fraiche for the cream. nigel recommends this as supper on christmas eve to precede the big christmas lunch. o and i had it the day after to help alleviate a twenty-four hour food coma. i was more generous with the pile of mackerel on my toasts so we got three helpings instead of four as in nigel's recipe.

here's my version of tea-time mackerel toasts. aside from the substituted creme fraiche i had to to concede to some other changes and subtractions as i did not have some of the ingredients handy. i would have liked the brightness of the chives which is the only thing i really missed from the original recipe.

2 thickish slices bread
3 fillets (roughly 240 grams) smoked peppered mackerel
2 teaspoons creamed horseradish
3 tablespoons creme fraiche
1/2 a teaspoon of dijon mustard
a generous amount of grated parmesan to sprinkle on top

lightly toast your slices of bread. 
flake the smoked mackerel into largish chunks. in a separate bowl combine the creamed horseradish, creme fraiche and mustard. add this mixture to the flaked mackerel and gently stir through. i like the large flakes to maintain their integrity giving the final topping texture. i also like quite a generous pile of the mackerel topping on my bread. level the surface with a knife and sprinkle on the grated parmesan. place the toasts under a grill. you want the cheese to melt and catch colour in places. 

we both enjoyed the toasts. they were the right balance of winter comfort with that slight sharp creaminess of the creme fraiche made peppery with mustard and horseradish. nigel calls his tea-time mackerel toasts 'posh cheese on toast'. i agree with him wholeheartedly.  

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