Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Smoked Milkfish Pate

LOML and I made our long trip to by smoked fish today --- some trout and some mackerel, enough to last a couple of weeks --- and on our return, I decided to try making some pate with the smoked milkfish I bought yesterday.
For comparison purposes, I put together a batch of smoked mackerel pate as well.
I wasn't sure whether the milkfish needed cooking first, and the information I could find on the web was unhelpful (I suspect that it was already cooked, but every recipe on the web suggested that it needed to be cooked) so I decided that I would err on the side of safety and after thawing a piece, placed it in a small skillet and gently sauted it.
While doing that, I put together a smoked mackerel pate:
1 piece of smoked mackerel, skin removed (about 3-4 ounces)
1/4 cup of fat-free cream cheese (a quarter of a package)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of horseradish (the grated stuff, not the "prepared" stuff in mayonnaise)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
I blended them all together in the food processor (they fit beautifully in the small bowl which sits in the main large bowl of the food processor).
All the while I was gently making sure the milkfish was cooked through: turning it occasionally.  I took it out of the pan, removed the skin, and checked that indeed it had been boned already: I let it cool, then broke it into small pieces just to check for any bones, finding none.  I then made the same recipe, with the milkfish (about the same weight) substituting for the mackerel.

Dinner consisted of soup (Tom Ka Gai, a Thai chicken and coconut soup), and a baguette with the pates made earlier.  There is a slight difference between the flavours: I think the milkfish is a little smokier, and LOML claimed to taste a little more sweetness to it, and I can definitely taste the mackerel flavour I'm so used to from saba nigiri, mackerel prepared as sushi: but the difference is subtle, and they are both very good.  LOML has a slight preference for the milkfish, and I prefer the mackerel, but not by much.

Yours, very happy with the way this turned out,

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