I'm a great believer that some things that are assumed to be sweet can just as easily be savoury. Here for example, profiteroles filled with mackerel pate and served with a spicy tomato dipping sauce. This makes an excellent starter to any meal. Serve with a salad. The one shown in the photo is made from finely sliced nasturtium and sorrel leaves with chopped nasturtium flowers. Quite peppery but also refreshing.
40g butter, cut into small cubes
1 pinch salt
80g plain flour, sifted
2 large eggs
250g smoked mackerel fillets
2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
Tomato Dipping Sauce
3 to 4 shallots (or 1 small onion)
200g chopped tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
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Choux Pastry: In a saucepan over a high heat, combine the water, butter and salt then bring to the boil. Once boiling, add all the sifted flour then stir vigorously until well mixed and the pastry dough is smooth, shiny and comes away from the sides of the pan. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a baking tray and lightly dust with flour.
When the pastry dough is cool place it in a blender with the plastic blade attached. Blitz at full speed and add the eggs one by one. The mix should be just heavier than a dropping consistency. Place spoon sized blobs on the baking tray. Brush with egg yolk.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven until risen and golden then switch off the oven and leave with the oven door slightly open for another five minutes to cool very slowly. Remove from the oven then cool on a wire rack.
Mackerel Pate: Prepare the mackerel by removing the skin and any bones and cutting into chunks. Place in a food processor and start to blitz slowly adding the cream and the horseradish sauce. If you are not keen on the latter then use Dijon mustard instead. Continue to process until it is to the thickness you want. Add a little milk if it is too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Slice open the profiteroles and use a teaspoon to fill the cavity with mackerel pate, be generous. Place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. One option is to store before filling and then heat in the oven for 5 minutes and fill before serving.
Tomato Dipping Sauce: Chop 3 to 4 shallots or one small onion very finely. Gently fry in the butter for about 4 to 5 minutes until tender.
Add the chilli and the paprika then fry for a little longer. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Use a handheld liquidiser to blend to desired consistency. Stir in the basil and transfer to a small bowl.
Place the mackerel profiteroles on a serving plate next to the dipping sauce. Serve.