Friday 26 February 2016

Experiment - Recipe: Isle of Man Queenies w/ Crispy Mackerel, Riceballs and Avocado & Courgette Salad

Quite regularly I find that I haven’t made any real plan for dinner, and I have lots of bits left over to use up. Now sometimes you’re dead in the water and you know you’ve got to go get some core ingredients. But often there’s a bunch of leftovers that can be turned into something else. 

It’s probably worth accepting right from the start that these experiments aren’t always going to work out! That said you can usually get something edible . . . ahem, or not! I was pretty pleased with this one!

The afternoon I made this dish I happened to be reading Luiz Hara’s Nikkei Cuisine which is where the inspiration for the mayoneizu came from. I made it as close as I could to his recipe. (with what I had to hand that is - it has a couple of adaptions!!). I definitely recommend this book! As far as cookbooks go it’s a breath of fresh air! The recipes are a fabulous marriage of cultures (Japanese and South American), both of whom’s cuisine I love! 

I think on this particular occasion I had some left over tomato rice and some red pepper velouté from a roast pork dinner the evening before. A bit of smoked mackerel . . . this is what I made:

ingredients (serves 4)
for the rice balls (makes 20-30)
600g tomato rice (cumin, onion, tomato, arborio)
125g mozzarella (torn)
3 spring onion (chopped)
4 chestnut / white mushroom (diced, sautéed)
100g red pepper velouté (or red pepper soup)
180g cooked ham (diced)
10g mint (chopped)

egg (to coat)
milk (to coat)
bread crumbs (to coat)

for the courgette & avocado salad
1 avocado (diced)
2 courgette (shredded ~200g)
10g pickled ginger (chopped)

10g coriander (chopped)
10g mint (chopped)
1/2 lemon (juice & zest)
20g sugar 
20ml groundnut / vegetable oil

for the crispy mackerel 
2 sides smoked mackerel
oil for frying

for the scallops 
24 queen scallops 

for the mayoneizu (makes ~400g)
400g mayo
5g dashi powder
2g smoked garlic
5g sugar
3g msg
5g mustard
1g salt
15g lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

for the spicy plum sauce
40g plum jam
20g chilli sauce
20g red wine vinegar (balance to taste)

for the garnish
1 spring onion (julienned)

rice balls (makes 20-30)
Prep all the ingredients. Heat the rice and mix all together until the mozzarella and all the rest of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Allow the mix to cool so it’s firm and not to hot to handle.
Spoon the mix into balls then dust them in flour, egg and bread crumbs. 
Fry at 180C until golden brown. (about 2 mins)

spicy plum sauce
Mix the ingredients, simmer until sauce is smooth!! Job done!

courgette & avocado salad
Peel the courgette so that there’s no green left to minimise the bitter flavour from the skin, then julienne them.
Fine dice the avocado and mix it with a little lemon juice to stop it oxidising.
Create a dressing from the coriander, mint, remaining lemon, sugar and groundnut oil, and mix with the avocado & courgette.

crispy mackerel 
Using a sharp knife cut along the centre of the fillet, each side of the line of bones and remove them.
Repeat for each fillet.
Place skin side down in a frying pan on a medium high heat until the skin is crispy.

for the scallops 
A friend gave me a bag of ‘Manx Queenies’ from the Isle of Man. No complaints there!
They’re quite small so they need to be dried and cooked quickly on a high heat to brown them with out overcooking them!
Pat the scallops dry with kitchen towel.
Add oil and a knob of butter to a hot heavy based pan.
As it’s about to start smoking, add the queenies. Turn once after they’ve browned to brown the other side.
Serve immediately. (In other words cook these last!)

mayoneizu (makes 600g)
Dissolve the msg in the lemon before mixing into the mayo, if not you’ll get undissolved crystals in the sauce.
Mix the rest of the ingredients together with a whisk and leave for at least two hours for the flavours to develop.

to serve
Assemble as you se fit it is after all an experiment with leftovers!! 
(No disrespect to the Manx Queenies, they were burning a hole in my fridge! I had to use them for something!! : )

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