Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Potato “risotto” with smoked mackerel and horseradish crème fraiche

Potato and smoked mackerel risotto

Regular readers will know of my fondness for risottos. What’s not to love about a dish that’s more comforting than a hot water bottle? The only downside is that they have a tendency to be somewhat bad for your waistline. In essence they are the equivalent to the first year you spend at university where it is almost impossible not to put on a stone or two of not very solid fat!

Given that I am trying to eat more healthily and cook with a more Scandinavian mindset, risotto hasn’t really had much of a look in. But when I found myself with a bag full of ageing potatoes that needed cooking I felt as if a compromise might be achieved. Marcus Samuelsson soon came to the rescue with his recipe for potato risotto which I took inspiration from and tweaked with the ingredients that lay expectantly in my fridge.


I bag of potatoes, peeled and finely diced
2 shallots
1 clove of garlic
½ litre of vegetable stock
100 grams of peas
100 grams of spinach
2 mackerel fillets, torn into pieces
3 tablespoons of crème fraiche
Grated horseradish
Olive oil


Peel your potatoes. Then finely dice them. This is quite laborious, but sadly, essential.

Sautee the shallot and garlic in olive oil then add the potatoes. Stir for a minute or two and then add hot stock and keep stirring. Add the thyme and tarragon. Then add more chicken stock and continue until the potatoes are tender. Be careful not to overcook. For me it took around 15 minutes.

Add the frozen peas and spinach and let them cook through. Then add 2 tablespoons of crème frache and a knob of butter and stir until the risotto is creamy. Don’t be as aggressive as you would be with rice because you don’t want to mash the potatoes.

Add the smoked mackerel and allow to rest so that the fish warms through. Season and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche on top and some grated horseradish and garnish with dill.

Potato and smoked mackerel risotto close

It was delicious. And for some reason felt healthier than a normal risotto. The combination of potatoes, dill, horseradish and smoked fish was unmistakably Scandinavian. I loved every single mouthful and went to bed dreaming of eating the leftovers for lunch!


Mathilde said...

This recipe sounds absolutely delicious. Have you tried making it with smoked haddock? It should work very well

Su-Lin said...

This sounds absolutely stunning - what a great idea for carb replacement. It does indeed sound Scandinavian - like a pyttipanna.

Jonathan said...

@Mathilde - Thanks. Smoked haddock would work even better I suspect. And clams or mussels would be good too. But all I had was smoked mackerel which doesn't work too badly either.

@Su-Lin - Pyttipanna looks really interesting. Thanks for opening my eyes to it. It's not really carb replacement... just rice avoidance!

Lizzie said...

It looks totally delicious. What kind of potato did you use - waxy, presumably?

Helen said...

This looks so gorgeous. I lovehow it's masquerading as a healthy looking dish when underneath it's only semi so.

Dominic Franks said...

just such a good idea, thanks for the tip, sounds so delicious and simple to make, although I don't see anything wrong with the odd risotto now and again... he says looking down and his wobbly belly....

Jonathan said...

@Lizzie - I used waxy Swedish potatoes. Which I am sure are better for this. They held their structure well.

@Helen - A naughty dish in disguise!

@Dominic - It just makes for a nice change and is a good excuse to use up left over potatoes.

Exploded Daniel said...

healthier shmealthier- it looks delicious though. I'm home smoking mackerel tomorrow guess what I'm gonna make

Jonathan said...

@Exploded Daniel - Very glad to have inspired you. I couldn't think of a better way of using your freshly smoked mackerel.


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