On 03 September, 2016, three very special things happened.
The first was that I met my sister again for the first time in almost fifteen years. The second was that this happened at her wedding. The third is that one of the options for the starter at the meal was Black Pudding, Smoked Fish, and Hollandaise Sauce. Oh sweet baby Jesus!
Well I won’t bore you with how we came to be estranged for so long, and it’s not my place to share the details of her special day…. but I’m damned well sure I’m gonna share this beauty of a recipe with you!
Make sure you get a bit of everything on each forkful! The slightly sweet Hollandaise is countered perfectly by the smoke and salt of the fish, and the earthiness of the Black Pudding.
2 slices of Black Pudding
1 fillet of smoked fish, halved lengthwise
2 egg yolks
1tbsp white wine vinegar
60g melted butter
This is enough for two starters, or one light lunch. It goes without saying that I didn’t share.
- First up, pop your fish in the oven. I’ve deliberately avoided specifying which fish to use – so follow the instructions for whatever one you’ve chosen. I bought Basa (because i’d never heard of it) which took 14 minutes, wrapped in foil, at 180ºc in a fan-assisted oven.
- Cook your Black Pudding however you like. I fried mine, in just a little oil, for about six minutes, turning occasionally.
- During that six minutes, get your Hollandaise going! I’ve given you the recipe before, but let’s go over it again just because it’s a massive pain in the bum to go backwards and forwards between links!
- Heat the vinegar in a small pan, and let it bubble away until it reduces by half.
- Remove from the heat, and add 1tbsp of water, before whisking in the egg yolks one at a time.
- Return to a very low heat, and whisk continuously until it’s thick and light.
- Remove from the heat again, and gradually whisk in the melted butter.
- Stack the fish on top of the Black Pudding, and serve with the Hollandaise Sauce poured over.
Tesco just pulled it out of the bag in a close competition, with their £5.59 narrowly beating ASDA’s £5.62.
Morrisons weren’t far off the pace at £5.88, but Sainsbury’s were sadly lacking with their £6.25.
I’d love to try this with a proper Arbroath Smokie!
Any fish would do, but I do feel that smoked is best! If you dislike fish, maybe gammon, bacon, or chicken would work, but be careful of making it too heavy!
Use your favourite Black Pudding – I like quite a spicy/peppery one. Failing that, Haggis or White Pudding could be really nice substitutions.
There are some decent ready-made Hollandaise sauces if you don’t fancy making your own from scratch, but it’s such a simple recipe that you really should give it a try at least once!
If you wanted a different sauce entirely, then a Béarnaise could be a nice option, although perhaps quite similar. A whiskey or Peppercorn sauce would be good, but again, try not to make it too over-bearing.
My friend (and mother of my Odd-Son) suggested adding an egg. Of course, that would be amazing, but we’ve already done our version of Eggs Benedict, which may just be a little too similar.
As valid as all these tweaks are, though, I really do love this in its original combination!