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Camembert and Smoked Salmon Tarts

ISSUE 18 ARCHIVE - COOKING THE CATCH: CAMEMBERT AND SMOKED SALMON TARTS

Andrew Maxwell

It has just been announced that mackerel is on the list of fish best avoided. It’s sad news that fears about overfishing of mackerel have led the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to take this decision. Mackerel has historically always been on the list of ‘fish to eat’ and is really good for us, being an excellent source

of omega 3 and essential oils. Unfortunately things have changed, and politics and greed are getting in the way of common sense.

This has all been caused by poor management of mackerel stocks, as the north Atlantic mackerel population has moved north-east, towards Iceland and the Faroe Islands, whose fishing industries have unilaterally decided to vastly increase the amount of the species that they catch. The mackerel are simply following the squid they live on. If

the countries involved could agree sensible catch limits this could still be a certified sustainable fishery. Instead, the Scottish fishermen continue to fish for mackerel (it

is an industry worth hundreds of millions to the Scottish economy) but at the same time there are new fleets able to tap into the stocks. The fish don’t stand a chance.

We hope that these so called ‘mackerel wars’ can be laid to rest as soon as possible, so we can all go back to eating mackerel again with a clear conscience.

MCS are advising that handline-caught mackerel from inshore boats is the best choice to make when eating mackerel. Importantly, mackerel stocks are not at a critical level at the moment, but the Marine Conservation Society has taken this action to protect future stocks, and it is important that we follow their advice.

So what are the alternatives? Well sardines and herrings are great alternatives and of course salmon is also a great source of omega 3 and essential oils. As always, make

sure that whatever you buy carries the little blue logo of the Marine Stewardship Council, showing that it has come from sustainable stocks.

As for a recipe, well here’s a great way of using up those last little bits of things in the fridge – in this case, smoked salmon and Camembert – you could substitute these

for lots of other things – fish, meat, cheeses, roasted vegetables – anything that works. They are easy to make and delicious. To be able to open the fridge and whip up a very simple tart out of a few little scraps of salmon and that last little bit of brie means you can easily create a delicious but simple dinner.

There has been a great deal in the press recently about how much food we waste, and what it costs us. Recipes like this are a great way of ensuring that you are getting maximum value for your money, whilst still eating great food.

Camembert and smoked salmon tarts.

The Tartlets are easy to make.

You will need:

  • 6 sheets of filo pastry
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 225g approx. Camembert cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 600ml double or single cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 175g smoked salmon trimmings, chopped

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gasmark 5, 190oC. Line a greased 25cm (10inch) flan ring with one sheet of the filo pastry.
  2. Brush with melted butter and cover with another sheet of filo pastry placed at the opposite angle (turned 90 degrees) to the first sheet. Brush with butter. Continue layering and buttering the pastry in this way. Trim the edges of the pastry with scissors.
  3. Remove and discard the rind from the Camembert. Slice the Camembert thinly and arrange evenly in the pastry case.
  4. Whisk the eggs, cream and dill until well blended, season with freshly ground black pepper and a tiny bit of salt, (unless the salmon is very salty.) Mix in the smoked salmon and pour into the pastry case.
  5. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the mixture is set and golden brown on top. Serve hot or cold.
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