Tick-tock, cried the grandfather clock, tick-tock.
Divine Cherry was sitting in her favourite armchair. She was looking morose. Small Perfect Cloud was on her lap, desperately waiting to be given some attention. But Divine Cherry had even forgotten that it was there. She was looking straight ahead. The gaping void before her was filled with the passing of time only. There was no escape. There was no other way. Think as she might about it, there was nothing else she could do. She had to. She knew that, but still she resisted it.
Tick-tock, pondered grandfather Time, tock-tick.
On the table in front of her was a plate. It was as empty as the moon – in fact, it was the moon. Divine Cherry was observing it. She knew she didn't have much time left. With a great effort of will, she pushed off a sleeping Small Perfect Cloud (who was quite distressed indeed at the sudden change of spatial location) and got up. "I've got to decorate that moon! It's just too white: it'll never look good in the sky like this!" On the table, next to the moon, lay the latest copy of Domestic Decorations - How a House becomes a Home. Divine Cherry had been reading again, cheeky cherry that she was. She took the moon (which wasn't full that day), and decided to fill it so as it give it more shine and sheen. So she brought it to the kitchen and started rummaging in her divine fridge in search of something worth filling the moon with. It had to be something light, smooth, yet with bite; and with a distinct quality of deliciousness and subtlety. First of all, in order to fill the moon, Divine Cherry made oatcakes, for they had the perfect shape – the moon was different back then. Then she decided to prepare some smokingly smoky smoked fish pâté. She put the pâté on the oatcakes and started filling up the moon, creating a perfect circle again. Once satisfied, she hung it on her wall (the sky for you). That is why the moon has those dark smudges when seen form afar: it's simply the spread of the pâté!
However, unbeknownst to her, a resentful Small Perfect Cloud was plotting a revenge. And so it was that as soon as Divine Cherry had turned her back, Small Perfect Cloud jumped up at the moon (lured by the irresistible smell of fish) and bit off a bit of the new decoration.
And so it is that the moon, today, waxes and wanes periodically: in remembrance of its filling and emptying by Divine Cherry and Small Perfect Cloud.
Smoked Haddock pate'
- 1 table spoon milk
- zest of half lemon, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 garlic clove
- 40-50 g unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
- 10-15 g unsalted butter
Cook the fish fillets with a little milk. Let them cool and put them in a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until mixture is smooth and creamy, add more butter if necessary to get more creaminess. Pour into a bowl and smooth the surface. In the meanwhile, melt the remaining butter with a pinch of wasabi powder, mix well. Pour the melted butter over the surface of the paté, cover with cling film and leave to solidify in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Serve with oatcakes.
Oatcakes - Recipe adapted from " The Glasgow Cookery Book"
- 100 g of oatmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 5-7 grams of dripping or cooking fat (I used butter)
- Hot water (about 1 cup)
In a large bowl mix the oatmeal, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Pour in the melted butter, stir and add enough hot water to make a soft consistency. Knead well. On a work surface covered with parchment paper, roll out the dough as thinly as possible with a rolling pin. If the dough results sticky sprinkle some oatmeal on the surface. Cut the oatcakes with a cookie cutter. Cook them on a hot griddle. When they are cooked on one side, dry off in a cool oven or under grill.
Smoked Haddock pate'
- 100 g haddock affumicato, pulito e spinato
- 1 cucchiaio di latte
- la buccia di mezzo limone grattata
- 1/2 cucchiaino di peperoncino in polvere
- mezzo spicchio d'aglio
- 40-50 g burro
Burro al wasabi
- 1/2 cucchiano di wasabi in polvere
- 10-15 g burro
Cuocere i filetti di pesce con poco latte. Farli raffreddare e metterli nel mixer con gli altri ingredienti. Mixare fino ad ottenere un composto liscio e cremoso, se necessario aggiungere altro burro per ottenere un composto ancora più cremoso. Versare in una ciotolina e lisciare la superficie. A parte sciogliere il resto del burro e metterci un pizzico di wasabi in polvere, mescolare bene. Versare il burro sciolto sulla superficie del pate' e far solidificare il tutto in frigo per un paio d'ore o anche tutta la notte. Servire con degli oatcakes.
Note: L'haddock e' un pesce simile al merluzzo. Si trova al naturale o spesso affumicato. E' abbastanza salato e non ha niente a che vedere con il salmone affumicato. In caso la ricetta si puo' fare con dei filetti di merluzzo freschi o con del baccala'.
Oatcakes - Ricetta adattata da " The Glasgow Cookery Book"
- 100 g fiocchi d'avena
- 1/2 cucchiaino di sale
- 1/4 cucchiaino di bicarbonato di soda
- 5-7 g di lardo (io ho usato burro, dal momento che il lardo non staziona nel mio frigo abitualmente...;) )
- acqua calda (1 bicchiere scarso circa)
In una ciotola capiente mescolare l'avena, il sale e il bicarbonato. Aggiungere il burro fuso, mescolare e versare sufficiente acqua calda a ottenere consistenza morbida. Impastare bene. Sulla superficie di lavoro coperta da carta forno, stendere l'impasto il più sottilmente possibile con il mattarello. Se l'impasto dovesse risultare appiccicoso spargere dei fiocchi d'avena in superficie. Formare gli oatcakes con dei tagliabiscotti. Cuocere gli oatcakes su una bistecchiera rovente. Quando sono cotti da un lato metterli sotto il grill tiepido (o forno a 50 C) ad asciugare.
Anche questa ricetta partecipa al MT Challenge di Febbraio, il cui tema è il paté.