“You don’t win friends with salad” a wise man once said. Well, not true actually it was from an episode of The Simpsons from a frighteningly long time ago. It still gets an airing at BBQs even now.
How times change though, and now I’m actually a big fan of the salad and the endless combinations possible. I’ve droned on about drab salads in an earlier post but suffice to say, unless the ingredients are very good, I generally prefer warm versions.
This fits the bill then – warm smoked mackerel and a super quick hollandaise sauce paired with some leaves and blanched beans. I think it’s healthy, but then there is a fair bit of butter in the hollandaise of course. I think, all ingredients considered therefore, I’m eating good fats/bad fats and having my cholesterol both raised and lowered simultaneously. Confusing.
The hollandaise is a great recipe I got from the Guardian’s Felicity Coates. She does a nice column where she tries a number of different recipes to find the best take on a particular dish. I must admit this was very easy – just put the cold butter and egg yolk in a pan and turn on the heat to the lowest setting whisking thoroughly all the time. Season with salt, if needed, and lemon juice at the end once it’s thickened. Simple.
I was on my own this morning, so this serves one, but it’s easily altered to suit. There was more than enough hollandaise though, so could have possibly stretched to two people.
- 1 smoked mackerel fillet
- 1 handful of mixed leaves
- 2 handfuls of mixed beans – I had peas, green beans and broad beans (fava beans)
- 1 egg, soft boiled and halved
For the hollandaise:
- 1 egg yolk
- 60g/2 ounces butter – I used salted
- Fresh lemon juice and salt to taste
Grill the mackerel, cut into bite size pieces and keep warm. Soft boil an egg, peel, halve it and arrange it on a plate with the salad and beans.
You’ll need to do this first so you can concentrate on the hollandaise as it doesn’t ‘rest’ well once made.
Take a small pan and place in the egg yolk and butter. Turn the heat onto the lowest setting and use the smallest hob you have.
Keep stirring continuously, I started with a balloon whisk but changed to a small silicon spatula to get into the edges.
Once it starts to thicken, turn the heat up ever so slightly and keep whisking/stirring until thickened enough. Once done, I actually dipped the bottom of the pan in cold water to stop it cooking any more.
Add about a teaspoon of lemon juice, or to taste and salt if you need it.
Put the warm mackerel on a plate and spoon over the hollandaise. Good morning!