Perfect as a light lunch on a chilly day. Also, feeling a little under the weather, I was craving something good and comforting with some healing protein.
Ingredients (for a single portion- just double, triple or multiply for larger servings!):
4/5 Charlotte/new potatoes
1 fillet of smoked mackerel
A heaped teaspoon of finely chopped dill
A heaped teaspoon of finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons of crème fraiche (or light sour cream if you can't get crème fraiche)
A splash of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 egg yolk
Oil for the confit- I used sunflower oil and, once cooled, returned the oil to the bottle after use
Chop any potatoes larger than one mouthful in half and tumble into some salted boiling water. You want to cook the potatoes until they are tender but still retain their shape and have a bit of a bite to them. Usually about 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in a good sturdy saucepan, you want the oil to be about 2-3 inches deep so (depending on how many portions you are making!) you don't need to use a very large pan.
You don't want to the oil to be hot, more like pretty warm, I had the hob on level 3 out of 14. Obviously a thermometer would be hugely useful here but I don't have one so the way I tell if the oil is ready is by using a little of the egg white after you separate out the yolk. Drop a small dot (about the size of a British 5 pence piece or an American dime) of the egg white into the oil and time how long it takes to turn opaque- you want it to take between 45 second and a minutes and definitely not fizz and bubble!
When your oil is up to the correct temperature, plop in the egg yolk. Even though the oil isn't super hot it's always best to be careful not to splash the oil so I find that popping the yolk into a cup or ramekin after its separated then 'pouring' it into the oil works best.
As with anything egg related, there is a degree of preference over how runny you like the yolk. My intention behind the confit method is that this gentle cooking method means you can end up with a perfect mixture of a soft-wax like consistency with a lovely runny-honey centre. I have experimented with cooking times and would suggested that the acceptable ends of the egg spectrum are between 3 and 5 minutes on each side.
How ever long you decide to cook the yolk for, be sure to flip it over half way though cooking so it is evenly warmed through.
When your potatoes are cooked, drain them and let them steam for 5 minutes whilst you prepare the dressing.
In a large bowl, dollop in the crème fraiche, chopped herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well then tumble in the warm potatoes. Gently crush the large potatoes until they just 'crack' but don't turn to mash, make sure the potatoes are well coated in the dressing, they will absorb the flavours as they are still warm.
To serve, pile up a great stack of the potatoes on a plate then flake your mackerel fillet over the potato tower. Sit your confit yolk atop the lot and cut it open just before you dig in so that the liquid yolk centre drizzles through the fish and potato salad.
This is comfort food that doesn't make you feel like a big greedy face after cleaning your plate!