Massive apologies one and all as it’s taken me FOREVER to actually write up this post about part two of our Ready Steady Cook challenge. I’m not sure what’s taken me so long apart from life generally getting in the way, so sorry about that and let’s get back to the business of a cooking challenge! As you might remember it was Lau’s turn to choose the mystery ingredients for me to cook with, and she presented me with the following: Scottish mackerel fillet (£2.00), milk chocolate (30p), a potato (98p), basic digestives (31p), Spinach (50p) and a pot of double cream (85p). In total my six ingredients came to £5.04, so only marginally over budget and actually if you remove the cost of the squares of chocolate and numerous digestives that I ate during the cooking process then we’re probably under budget!
I was ever so slightly concerned when presented with my ingredients, not the sweet ones as I knew straight off what I’d make with those, but with the mackerel. Confession time: I’ve never cooked with mackerel before and I’ve only ever eaten it in pate form so I wasn’t sure where to start! I automatically thought pie but I didn’t know what kind really, but thankfully my good friend, the Good Food website, came to my rescue as I found this recipe for a mackerel pie which contained all of my ingredients. Perfect you say? I followed the recipe almost exactly:
- Boil the potatoes until they are almost ready to eat
- Cut them into chunks and lay half of them on the bottom of the two dishes
- Remove the bones and skin from the fish and throw the flesh on top of the potato layer
- Add the remainig potatoes to the top
- Pour over the cream
- Cover the dishes with foil and bake on 190°C for half an hour
- Remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes until brown (or you’ve lost all patience!)
- EAT with a side salad of spinach leaves
This mackerel pie was absolutely scrumptious and I can highly recommend it for the upcoming cooler evenings. As for the pudding side of things, I went for a simple rocky road recipe as with biscuits and chocolate it was begging to be done! Thankfully we have a massive collection of nuts and dried fruit in the cupboard so I had lots of options to add to the ingredients Lau gave me. For the Rocky Road I simply:
- Melted the chocolate in the microwave
- Mixed together the broken up digestives, raisins, sultanas, flaked almonds, hazelnuts and cashews in a separate bowl
- Combined the two
- Pressed the mixture into a lined tray
- Cooled it all in the fridge for two hours before cutting them into large squares
This is possibly my favourite pudding idea, as it’s just so so simple and tastes divine. Also you don’t really need a lot to make it scrumptious! So there we have it my two yummy dishes: Mackerel and potato creamy pie and rocky road – yummy! Now we just need to know what Lau thought of my endeavors. So Lau, over to you…
Use of ingredients: 10/10 – I felt a bit mean with these ingredients, but Fi used them so well that she really does deserve top marks.
Ingenuity: 7/10 – the fact that Fi picked something completely new deserves high marks, but the rocky road appears quite a lot in the flat so I think a seven is fair here.
Taste: 10/10 – Totally delicious and the fish dish is one of my new favourites.
– Fi and Lau xx