Nigel has some excellent hints & tips for varying this recipe: “Cauliflower makes a good substitute for the broccoli. Instead of tomatoes, fry a couple of handfuls of sliced mushrooms in a little butter. Introduce an extra layer of flavour with a seasoning of thyme leaves, finely chopped. Add a little sliced garlic, slowly fried in butter or oil.”
Serves 4 (simply halve the quantities to serve 2)
375g Staal Smoked Mackerel
2 large tomatoes
500ml béchamel sauce (homemade or shop-bought)
4 handfuls of soft, fresh breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
For the béchamel sauce (if making your own):
20g plain flour
425ml warm milk
1 bay leaf
A few peppercorns
Salt to taste
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Break the broccoli into large florets, then lower into the boiling water and leave to cook for three or four minutes until bright and still a little crisp. Drain and cool under cold running water, then set aside. Set the oven at 180C / gas mark 6.
2. Remove the skin from the smoked mackerel and break the flesh into large pieces, removing any stray bones as you go.
3. Halve the tomatoes, then cut each half into four.
4. Put the smoked mackerel, drained broccoli and tomatoes into a shallow ovenproof dish or baking tin.
5. Make your own béchamel sauce by cooking the butter with the plain flour until pale biscuit colour, then stir in the warm milk seasoned with a bay leaf, peppercorns and salt. Continue to cook for 20 minutes over a gentle heat, stirring regularly.
6. Pour the béchamel sauce over the other ingredients in the dish and scatter with the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or so, until crisp and bubbling.
You can buy our fabulous Smoked Mackerel in our online shop using the link below:
This recipe and photo is courtesty of The Guardian website.