Brandade is a traditional French dish, but in this recipe we have replaced the classic ingredient salt cod, which is notoriously hard to find with smoked mackerel. You can eat this as a warm dip as a canape or starter or you can make it more of a meal by adding a poached eggs and greens.
500 peeled white potatoes cut in half if large
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 litre full cream milk
120g smoked mackerel
1 medium baguette, stale if possible
3 tbsp Early Harvest olive oil
Salt and pepper
6tbsp Verdemanda olive oil
1/2 small bunch flat leaf parsley, (about 15g), finely chopped
75g pitted Black Douce Olives, roughly chopped
Place the potatoes in a pan with 1 crushed garlic clove along with the skins from the smoked mackerel and cover with milk. Turn the heat on to medium, bring up to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Take care not to have the heat up too high as the milk can easily burn on the base of the pan. Drain the potatoes, reserving the liquid and discard the mackerel skin.
Whilst the potatoes are cooking, heat an oven to 175C/165C fan. Thinly the baguette on a diagonal angle and toss in a bowl with 1/2 tbsp Early Harvest olive oil, salt and pepper the spread on a baking tray and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove and allow to cool.
Finely chop the garlic. Place a large frying pan on a medium heat, add the remaining Early Harvest olive oil and then the garlic. Gently fry till lightly golden then add the potatoes and garlic clove, breaking them up with a potato masher or back of a fork until fully broken down. Add about 1/3 of the cooking liquid to the pan and fold in with a wooden spoon or spatula. When incorporated, fold in the Verdemanda olive oil. Depending on the potatoes, you can add more of the cooking liquid, as what you’re after is a soft, almost slightly runny mashed potato consistency. Flake the mackerel into the potatoes, along with the parsley and stir through till combined but not so much that the fish completely breaks down. Taste and season with salt and pepper, allowing that the mackerel can be quite salty, so will help season the potato.
Spoon into a bowl, sprinkle the olives on top and serve with the croutons.