Souffled Arbroath Smokie Creams (with Foaming Hollandaise)
This is a very old favourite that never fails to delight.
It’s easy, can be prepared in advance and fulfils all the criteria of a really top notch first course. Remember to start the fish the night before and, if you can't get smokies, good quality finnan haddock will do well You can buy the smokies online from Alex Spinks & Son
This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas. Serves 8 as a starter
Begin by carefully skinning and boning the Arbroath smokies – you’ll find the flesh will part very easily from the bones. (You should have about 8–10 oz/225–275 g of flesh after this.)
Flake the fish and place it in a blender or food processor, along with a little salt, freshly milled black pepper and a good grating of nutmeg. Blend until the fish has turned to a smooth, even pulp, then blend in the lightly beaten eggs. Transfer it to a bowl, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
Next day to prepare ahead, line the base and sides of each ramekin with smoked salmon - don't worry that you're doing this in pieces and patches as it won't show when they're finally turned out. Then return the fish mixture to the blender or processor together with the cream, and blend them thoroughly together. Then divide the fish mixture equally between the ramekins, cover and chill till needed.
When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F, 190°C and place the roasting tin filled with about 1in (2.5 cm) of boiling water on the centre shelf of the oven. Place the ramekins in the roasting tin, then cook for exactly 40 minutes
To serve, have some warmed plates ready then turn out each souffle holding the ramekin with a cloth, and tipping it out quickly upside-down onto your hand and just as quickly flip it over on to theplate, Garnish with watercress and pour the hollandaise over each one. See below for Foaming Hollandaise or you can watch it being made in our Online Cookery School Video on the right.
Note: If you wish to make these ahead, when they've had 30 minutes in the oven remove the ramekins from the tin and leave them to cool. When cold, cover each one with clingfilm and transfer to the freezer.
To reheat, remove the clingfilm and place the ramekins in a shallow roasting tin.
Pour in 1 inch (2.5cm) boiling water from the kettle and cook the creams for 30 minutes at gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).