This article originally appeared in the November 2015 Issue: Hosting the Holidays. Read it here!
“An Invisible Kitchen classic canape with a seasonal, spiced twist.”
Serves: makes 20 pieces
- 1 raw mackerel fillet
- A handful of small size wood chips (hickory, or any type you prefer)
- 20% brine solution (300g water, 60g salt, mixed until dissolved)
- 20 shop-bought or homemade filo pastry tartlette cases
- Crème fraiche (or cream cheese)
- 100g pickled red cabbage - see this recipe
- Finely chopped chives
- Prepare the smoke-box: take a medium-sized foil tray and put in a wire rack to fit inside. Use some tin foil to make a small ring to hold the wood chips under the rack in the centre of the base. Put the foil tray on top of a flat metal tray (this stops the foil from burning through), and set-up on a gas stove. Make a foil lid that will hold in the smoke, but leave it open for now.
- Trim the fatty belly and excess skin from mackerel fillets and soak in brine for 10 minutes, then quickly rinse and pat dry. Lightly sprinkle flesh with salt, and arrange on wire rack, leaving a little space between each fillet.
- Add the wood chips to the foil ring and turn the flame on full power, with the tray on top of the stove. Put the fish on top of the rack. Half cover the fish with foil (loosely) so you can see when smoke starts. Once the wood starts smoking (white smoke), turn the heat down to low and close the foil lid tightly. After 6 minutes of smoking, turn off the heat, and remove the tray to cool on wire rack (do not open foil cover). After 10 minutes more, remove foil cover.
- Using metal tweezers, remove all bones and fins from fish. Remove the skin and blood lines (dark colored, soft flesh), then break along natural lines into small pieces, as desired.
- Mix half of the chives with the crème fraiche, salt and white pepper and put in piping bag. Pipe a little crème fraiche mix into the base of each tart. Top with a pinch of red cabbage (see recipe below) and 1 piece of mackerel. Garnish with chopped chives.