"I love smoked fish, and this eel pâté is delicate, rich and moreish. It goes well with just about any drink and can be made a few days ahead of serving." This recipe makes 24 crostini.
- 1 sourdough baguette, thinly sliced
- 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1/3 cup)
Smoked eel pâté
- 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 smoked eel (450gm), skin removed, bones removed, coarsely flaked
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 150 ml dry white wine
- 250 gm crème fraîche
- 2 tsp whole allspice
- 2 tsp black peppercorns
- 250 gm caster sugar
- 250 ml balsamic vinegar (1 cup)
- 1 medium beetroot (190gm), peeled, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1For eel pâté, heat butter and oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat, add shallots and sauté until pale golden (5-6 minutes). Add eel, thyme and salt to taste (be careful; smoked eel is salty), then stir until eel starts to brown (2-3 minutes). Turn up heat to medium-high and deglaze pan with white wine, simmering until reduced by half (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat, pour mixture into a bowl and refrigerate to cool (45 minutes). Discard thyme, then pulse in a food processor until smooth. Whip crème fraîche in a bowl until soft peaks form and fold into eel mixture. Check seasoning and refrigerate until required. Smoked eel pâté will keep for 4 days in the fridge.
- 2For glacé beetroot, combine spices, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer over medium heat until reduced by a quarter (10 minutes). Strain into a clean pan, discarding spices. Add beetroot to liquid and gently simmer over medium heat until beetroot is tender and slightly sticky (10-15 minutes). This can be prepared a few days in advance; store in a sealed plastic container. When ready to serve, drain beetroot on absorbent paper.
- 3Preheat oven to 220C. Place baguette on oven trays, drizzle with oil and toast in the oven, turning once, until golden on both sides (8-10 minutes). Cool completely. Crostini will keep in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
- 4To serve, scoop 2 tsp of the eel pâté onto each crostini and top with a slice of glacé beetroot.
Drink Suggestion: Egly-Ouriet Brut Rosé Grand Cru or Eastern Peake Pinot Taché. Drink suggestion by James Broadway