Smoked Eel and Parsley Pôté

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb) smoked conger eel
  • freshly ground black or white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped – optional
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 250 g (½ lb) unsalted butter, softened, or, if you prefer, sunflower margarine

Method

Remove any skin and bone from the eel, put in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients, and blend to a smooth paste. Pack into individual ramekins or a large pot, which you keep in the refrigerator, and from which you scoop quenelles of the pôté as you need it. It keeps for 7 to 10 days. Half quantities can, of course, be made.

On balance, I prefer to serve it with a wedge of lemon rather than add lemon juice ‘to taste’ in the blending. You could add a little finely grated lemon zest to the pôté, however.

Using olive oil instead of butter, you can make a softer paste, and add garlic to it so that it takes on Mediterranean flavours.

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