Month: February 2012


Raw chickpeas

Chickpeas are splendid legumes. We always keep a couple of cans of them in (along with a variety of other beans), but I do prefer to soak and cook them myself, as that way they are far, far cheaper. However, I am a bit prone to just lobbing a load in a bowl of water, and then finding I have far many more of the little chaps to deal with than I had anticipated …

I soaked and boiled some on Sunday last week, and then on Monday I chopped red onion, yellow pepper, a tired aubergine, together with some garlic. Fried that off in olive oil, lobbed in a couple of teaspoons of Ras el Hanout spice and some lemon juice, added a load of chickpeas, and cooked it down for half an hour or so. Added some finely chopped flat leaf parsley, and had it with rice for supper. And there was enough to have for lunch the following day with some toasted pitta.

The remaining chickpeas went into the food processor with lots of garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and tahini, to make hummus. Hummus is ridiculously easy to make, I really don’t know why I ever buy it! Some of the parsley went in that too (and the rest? Post coming!).

a pair of smoked mackerel

smoked mackerel

We saw Nigel Slater do something interesting [fnaar] with a smoked mackerel on a programme just before Christmas, and on our seasonal visit to Newland Avenue, we picked up a brace of them in the fishmonger (yay! fishmonger!) to use over the holiday.

When we fetched them out of the fridge, they were bloody enormous, far bigger than the vacuum packed ones you pick up in the supermarket, so I have two smoked mackerel recipes for your delectation. [Edit] In neither recipe did we use the skin.

Smoked mackerel on toast
Now, this might not sound very exciting, but trust me. We flaked up one of the fish, and mixed it with a finely chopped shallot, some cream, and quite a lot of grated parmesan. Nigel said to add fresh horseradish, but Newland Ave in Hull doesn’t run to that, so we added a pinch of cayenne instead. We toasted some thick slices of bread on one side (my word – we turned the grill on!), then piled the fish mixture on top of the untoasted side and put it back under the grill.  It was gorgeous, and remarkably filling.

Smoked mackerel omelette
So we were faced with Another Huge Smoked Mackerel, and we had quite a lot of eggs. So – an omelette. Again, the fish was flaked, and bunged it into the pan when the eggs were starting to set, on half the area, so that it could be folded and flipped. Again, just lovely.

We liked both these so much that a pack of smoked mackerel is now a staple in our fridge.