For my first post of 2016 I wanted to share a recipe that shows how easy it is to turn an otherwise indulgent treat into something that’s (relatively) healthy. But first Happy New Year! I hope you had a relaxing break and are starting 2016 refreshed and focused. Speaking of focus I was inspired yesterday by my cycle class instructor. He talked about moving away from setting big scary far-reaching goals – and instead encouraged the class to “obsessively pursue short-term, micro goals”. By this he means putting aside big resolutions to lose 5 kilos, to learn to speak Spanish, or to achieve a promotion. And instead to think about small goals you can set each week, and even each day – micro goals that, cumulatively, will take you baby steps forwards towards your end vision. I really like this thinking and will be keeping it in mind for 2016.
Anyway it’s taken me 3 weeks since my last post to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) – I relaxed a little too much over the break. But I’m back with a tasty pâté for those of you trying your best to be healthy this year. In the words of Jamie Oliver himself – “Every mouthful is an outrageously delicious bit of heaven”. I’ve made this recipe twice – both times on Christmas Day. For Christmas Day 2014 I stayed true to Jamie’s recipe, direct from his ‘Great Britain’ book (with cream cheese and horseradish). But for my most recent Christmas lunch I experimented with using cottage cheese to make it more saintly. Even I was surprised to see that cottage cheese has only 100 calories and 4g fat per 100g, compared to cream cheese with over 300 calories and more than 30g fat.
This pâté is super easy to prepare and can be made a day in advance. It’s so “outrageously delicious” that I’ve now committed to adding it to my rotation of regular weeknight dinner recipes. Here I’m sharing my healthy version alongside some variations. How to serve this dish? It makes for a meal in itself with a simple salad of fennel, cucumber & radish and toasted bread. Or serve it as an appetiser with crackers, pickles and a side of crème fraiche. Alternatively take inspiration from Jamie and turn it into a feast with miniature Yorkshire puddings.
Makes 4-6 individual servings
- 250g smoked trout (I buy a whole smoked trout)
- 250g cottage cheese or quark
- 1 lemon – zest and juice
- Small bunch of chives, finely chopped
- Salt & pepper
Optional – replace the chives with dill, use cream cheese in place of cottage cheese, add 3-4 teaspoons of horseradish cream. You could also try smoked salmon instead of trout.
- Flake the trout into chunky pieces. If you’re using a whole smoked trout like I do then remove the skin and all bones first.
- Add the cottage cheese, chopped herbs, lemon zest and juice to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and evenly combine. If you’re including horseradish then mix it in now.
- With a spatula carefully fold the chunky trout pieces through the cheese mixture until you have an even consistency.
- Transfer into 4-6 individual pots or bowls. Cover and allow to set for at least an hour in the fridge. Remove 20 minutes before serving and sprinkle with chopped chives.
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