Lisa Eberhahn on Challenge 2
Today I prepared Mackerel Pate on a bed of Spaghetti with Hemp Heart Red Pepper Coulis and Pickled Broccolini.
The ingredients for week 2 were undoubtedly a challenge for me. I had to think long and hard about what I would do with canned mackerel and hemp hearts. These are not ingredients that I have ever used in a dish.
After doing some experimenting, I discovered that I liked the mackerel unheated. With that, I chose a pate. I am a big fan of seeds, so I knew I was going to like the flavor of the hemp seeds. They brought a nice nuttiness to the coulis and provided an interesting textural garnish.
I do eat broccoli often, but I have never had broccolini. It's delicious, tender and aesthetically beautiful.
I like that the little buds on the heads are not one dense cluster. I knew I wanted to showcase those buds, so I blanched them and used them as garnish around the outer edge of the plate. The tender stems are perfect for pickling.
The spaghetti inspired me to do my cooking on Sunday since it was National Noodle Day. It was fun to come up with a different use for the spaghetti. I usually put spaghetti in a bowl and pile on a sauce. Not this time; I used it as a pedestal for the fish and broccolini.
My testers were my husband, a friend of ours and my son away at college. My husband was skeptical of this one. He made faces at the canned fish. Guess what?! He loved this dish, and so did our friend. I sent my son a picture of the dish. He was very impressed and said he would order it and pay money.
This was a fun challenge, and I am thrilled with my presentation. The best part was discovering new ingredients that I will continue to experiment with.