"Rillete de maqueraux" or the perfect hangover relief


I'm finally old enough to see it all coming, the days around xmas and new year were once again filled with dinner parties plenty of delicious food and as always a bit too much red wine. But this year I planned ahead ! While some were already out for these sometimes very dangerous company christmas dinners I made a night shift in the kitchen experimenting with something that should save me on these hangover mornings that were bound to follow - la rillete de maqueraux.

Rillete is something like a paté originally made with pork, the meat is salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat and then processed into a paste.
I came a cross fish rillete several times while traveling in france and always wanted to make my own version of it. As I said before it's the perfect hang over breakfast but it's also lovely served with toasted bread to accompany a soup dinner.

rillete de maqueraux

You'll need:

  • The flesh of 3 smoked mackerels ( or left over mackerel from a previous dinner)
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 - 2 organic lemons
  • Thyme leaves
  • A bit of pernod to quench
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg

  • For the spiced butter:

  • 150 gr butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • Anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish

Slowly fry the shallots in butter. Add the Flesh of the mackerel and the chopped rosemary. Quench with the pernod, season with salt an pepper.

Cook for 2 minutes then take of the heat. Put into a food processor ( or blender) you want it to be soft enough to be spread on toast but not to mashy.
Add fresh lemon juice and the lemon zest. Add the chopped capers and some thyme leaves. Season with nutmeg and more salt and pepper is needed.

Fill into a glass and press it in tightly. Meanwhile make the clarified  and the spiced butter :

Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, and then allow to simmer until you spot the first dark flecks – watch it carefully, or it will burn. Strain through some butter muslin, or two sheets of kitchen roll, into a jug.
Wipe out the pan, and pour in two-thirds of the butter. Add the lemon juice, nutmeg, pepper, anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish and a pinch of salt and simmer very gently for five minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool but not set.
When just warm, but still liquid, pour over the fish and put in the fridge to set. Once solid, pour over the remainder of the clarified butter and return to the fridge to set.

Serve on toasted brown bread. The rillete can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks.
With this technique one can experiment I also made a white tuna rilette with plenty of chopped dill.
If this does not help to cure your hangover why not try something stronger like kevins favorite breakfast toast:

Happy 2012!

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Grilled Mackerel and caramelized beetroot

This is a new favorite in our home. Mackerel is one of the few fish not endangered by overfishing - theres so many of them -  but it's also a very tasty fish with a delicious taste. It goes perfect with the caramelized beetroot. We usually serve it with potato salad but you could also eat it accompanied with bread.

- 4- 5 Medium sized beetroot
- Olive oil
- 25 gr butter
- 1 tsb  chopped Thyme
- 3 Rosemary stalks
- 20gr brown sugar
- 150 ml balsamic vinegar
- 20 ml fresh lemon juice

Rub the beetroot with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap into aluminum foil and bake 1,5 hours in the oven ( 180° ).
Take them out and let them cool a bit, peel and cut into slices.
Heat the butter with and the olive oil add the beetroot the thyme, the rosemary . Slowly cook over medium heat for 10 - 20 minutes till the beetroots are caramelized. When the beetroot starts to get soft add the vinegar and the lemon juice and cook till the juice turns thick like a sirup and the vegetables are tender.

- 8 Mackerel filets
- 1 tsb fresh Thyme
- olive oil
- 2 gloves of garlic
- zest of one lemon and a good squeeze lemon juice

Make a marinade of chopped garlic, thyme, olive oil and lemon
filet the fish, cut the skin several times. Marinate on the skin side.

Put the fish on a baking tray skin side up and bake in the oven ( on grill very close to the grill ) for 3 to 4 minutes.

The recipe comes from my favorite fish cook book - Tom Aikens Fish

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