Smoked eel brandade with paprika dressing and toasted Arabic bread

Smoked eel brandade with paprika dressing and toasted Arabic bread

By
From
Moorish
Serves
6
Photographer
Mark Roper

Brandade is the classic Portuguese pâté made from saltcod and potato. Here we use smoked eel, which is rich, oily and has an intense smoky flavour that blends well with the bland smoothness of mashed potato. To serve, add a splash of good quality red wine vinegar to cut through its richness. It works well as a dip or as part of a mezze selection.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 large smoked eel, about 500 g whole weight
2 medium-sized floury potatoes, peeled
300ml milk
250ml water
garlic, cut in half
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, zested
1/2 onion, studded with 2 cloves
1 bay leaf
2 long green mild chillies, split in half, seeded and scraped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
80ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 shallots, very finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
arabic bread

Method

  1. Prepare the eel by chopping off its head and cutting the body into 5–6 chunks through the central bone. Cut the potatoes into large chunks. Put the eel and potatoes into a largish saucepan with the milk, water, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, onion, bay leaf and chillies. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are well cooked.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the onion, lemon zest, bay leaf and chillies. Tip the rest of the ingredients through a sieve, reserving the milk for later. When cool enough to handle, put the eel into a mixing bowl, peel away the skin and pull the flesh off the bones. Discard the skin and bones. Use a fork to shred the flesh roughly.
  3. Roughly mash the potatoes and garlic with about 50 ml of the poaching liquid and the vinegar, then mix in the shredded eel. What you are aiming for is a coarsely textured kind of pâté. Add a little more milk if necessary, bearing in mind that the mixture will thicken as it chills. Tip into a container and refrigerate overnight.
  4. When you are ready to serve, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, paprika, shallots and pepper to make a dressing. Scoop a mound of the brandade onto each serving plate and make an indentation with the back of a hot soup spoon. Carefully pour in a little of the dressing and serve with plenty of toasted Arabic bread.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Moorish
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