Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Smoked Haddock and Celeriac Remoulade

It was my sisters birthday, so obviously there was dinner to be made. However I was still feeling a little bit knocked around by this dastardly cold that has taken up residence in my sinuses. Any way main course turned out to be quite simple as both my sister and her mum (mine as well) expressed a desire for roast leg of lamb... So all my preparations for slightly more exotic versions of slow roasted pork belly with sage and orange (as suggested by @bribedwithfood). However this still left starters, pottering around the shops I realised that all the usual things had made their way into the shopping trolley, smoked salmon, creme fraiche and so on. So I decided to remove said items and start again (obviously I left the creme fraiche, so many uses).
A largish fillet of smoked Haddock, a celeriac root and that was about as far as inspiration went.
I should state in advance that this isn't really a remoulade as there's no mayonaisse involved, but it was very easy and very tasty. The creamy smokiness of the fish combining nicely with the slightly crunchy earthiness of the celeriac.

1 large fillet of smoked haddock
1/2 a celeriac root
1 medium onion (go for quite a strong one)
full cream milk
salt and pepper

Prepare the vegetables by grating the celeriac, and finely dicing the onion, then set aside.
Lightly poach the smoked haddock in some butter and the full cream milk. You want to use a pan where the fillet, cut in half takes up most of the pan, then the milk should come up to about half way up the highest point of the fillet, start the poaching skin down, then turn after a couple of minutes, I find this makes it easy to get a good cooking through, and yet still have the skin come off easily. Incidentally you want the flesh to flake apart but not fall apart.
Remove the fish from the poaching liquor and retain both, peel off the skin of the fish (this should be quite easy if the fish is only lightly poached.
Then add the celeriac and onion to the poaching liquor and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes, you're looking just to soften and flavour it.
Flake up the fish, add in the celeriac and onion and mix together. Season to taste.
Finely chop some of the capers and dill (not too much) and mix into the fish and celeriac.
Then turn the mixture into the serving bowl.
Decorate with more chopped capers and dill, salt and pepper and refrigerate.
Oh and I served it with toast and some sharply dressed leaves.

Disgustingly easy, and for me it used hardly any pans (only one). Sadly I failed to take any photos while cooking as I was absorbed with being grumpy and headachey, and the lemsip was taking it's time to kick in. Luckily it had done by the time we sat down for dinner.

I think the label shows what area of the market this was targeted at..
As for what we drank with it, I pulled out one of my experimental bottles of Riesling, Duckbill 2006 from the Great Southern in Western Australia. Now Great Southern is quite a large area that encompasses the steep hilly Mount Barker and the Porongorups, as well as Frankland River and the verdant surrounds of Denmark. I guess I saw this bottle a few years back and figured that it was cool climate Australian Riesling, it wasn't expensive and was worth a punt.
Now I like my Rieslings with a few years of bottle age to them, and this was no exception, tight, minerally, with the beginnings of some toastiness, whoever the winemaker was won't like me for saying that I certainly found a spot of kerosene like characters, but again I like them. All in all it went great with the dish, the acidity pairing the creaminess of the dish well, and the assertive citrus, sherbet and kerosene like characters standing up really well to the smokiness of the fish.

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