… fresh mackerel stuffed with haggis, and served with three vegetable mash and whiskey sauce.
Trust me, this was wonderful!
It is difficult not to be decadent when my good friend ‘Winemaker Sarah’ (so called because she makes wine for a living, and I have many Sarah’s in my life) comes to stay. Sarah always arrives with a car full of delicious goodies from which we create weird and wonderful things. Two of the ingredients for this meal came from Sarah’s car – whiskey-infused cheese and, bizarrely, a swede.
The mackerel was from the reduced section of Tesco and was a whole 68p. Because it was in the reduced section it was already wrapped and I wrongly assumed that it was a couple of fillets – as it turned out I was glad that my mum brought me up to be able to gut fish!
The haggis came from the freezer, the last of the leftovers from Burns Night. I used the rest a few weeks ago wrapped in chicken and bacon. Yum.
This served three, despite only having one small fish (slightly biblical?) and I am at at loss to describe just how delicious it was.
- One mackerel
- a few tablespoons of haggis
- flat leaved parsley
- splash of lemon juice
- splash of ginger wine
- a small swede
- two carrots
- a few potatoes
- 1/2 pint of milk
- tablespoon of flour
A ready gutted and filleted fish would be easiest to work with, but briefly a word on gutting fish:
Take a very sharp knife and carefully open up the belly of the fish from tail to head. Remove the innards then take the knife and use it to break the spine at the tail, gently lift the spine trying to bring as many of the little bones with it as possible. Rub the inside of the fish with course salt to clean it.
Fill the cavity of the fish with the haggis and a couple of sprigs of parsley and then wrap snugly in foil. Bake in the bottom of the oven at 160oC for 25 minutes.
When you have put the fish in the oven chop the carrot and swede and bring to the boil. The potatoes won’t take as long to cook, so chop them and add them when the rest of the vegetables have been bubbling away for about five minutes. When each of the vegetables can be easily pierced with a fork drain and then mash them with some butter and pepper.
Because I have stripped my kitchen down to (less than) the bare essentials as part of the Basic Kitchen Project I put the vegetables to one side, cleaned the pan and then made white sauce.
Heat the milk slowly, do not allow it to boil. Put a heaped tablespoon of plain flour into a mug and add a splash or two of milk and mix to a paste. Pour some of the warm milk into the mug and mix thoroughly, then return the mixture to the pan. Maintain the low heat and stir the sauce as it thickens – keep a close eye on it! When it has begun to thicken crumble the cheese into the sauce and allow it to melt. If (like most people!) you don’t have a friend who rocks up at your house with whiskey cheese then you can add a tablespoon of whiskey to the sauce at this stage.
For the last five minutes turn up the oven to 200oC, open up the foil from around the fish and add a splash of lemon and of ginger wine then return to the oven for 5 minutes.
This one is a little difficult to cost, mostly because I cannot find where I wrote down the weight of the haggis which I used. The haggis was a ‘leftover’, but I appreciate that most people won’t have this kicking around at the back of their freezer! ‘Winemaker Sarah’ found the ginger wine while she was poking around in my drinks cabinet – a common occurrence when she comes to stay.
- One mackerel – £0.68
- a few tablespoons of haggis – ?
- flat leaved parsley – from my garden
- splash of lemon juice – ?
- splash of ginger wine – ?
- a small swede – this was a (bizarre) gift, but if I had bought it at Asda it would have been £0.50
- two carrots – £0.30
- a few potatoes – £0.30
- 1/2 pint of milk – £0.25
- tablespoon of flour – ?
- whiskey-cheese – a gift. If I had used cheddar I reckon it would have been about £0.30
So, not the best costing I have done as part of this project! I will go with it being approximately £2.30 plus gifts and leftovers – still, not too bad for a particularly decadent evening.