Around the time I was growing up in London dishes a little like this were all the rage at the poshest restaurants. I know because I spent a large part of that childhood studying a book my parents had on their bookcase, the first Roux brothers cookbook. This is not a Roux brothers dish – I made this one up – but it is well within that 80s nouvelle cuisine style. Well, though times have moved on, and you would never find this kind of clock face plating in a top-notch restaurant anymore, what was once delicious, stays delicious, not matter how much out of fashion it has fallen.
1 whole fresh mackerel
6 fresh scallops
1 tin of salmon roe
1/4 red cabbage
2 sheets of gelatine
1 hand-full of chives
1 quantity of basic pasta dough, rolled into a sheet (say 300g flour/3 eggs)
Red wine port reduction (optional)
Asparagus shavings (optional)
1 pair of tweezers (helpful)
1 sense of humour (required)
1. Make the red cabbage jelly. Blitz some raw cabbage with a splash of white wine until fine. Pass through a muslin and into a saucepan. Heat and aggressively season with salt. You should have about 170-200 ml liquid. Add the gelatine and pass back through the muslin. Pour a little into a broad dish and the rest into a square container. Let both in the fridge for 3-4 hours to set up.
2. Filet and skin the mackerel, then roughly dice. Keep in the fridge.
3. Chop the scallops with the chives until small and keep in the fridge until ready to fill the pasta. Season!
4. Roll out the pasta dough (you can find endless recipes for making fresh pasta online so I wont repeat them here). Cut some circles with a cutter and then place a teaspoon full of scallop filling inside. After having very slightly moistened one side, fold in half into little moons, and then bring the two opposite ends together to form a pleasing shape.
5. Blitz half an avocado with lime until very smooth. Season.
6. Place a cutting ring on the now set jelly and place the mackerel inside. Now pipe some avocado in small balls around. If you have the red wine reduction also add dots of that. Cut some of the jelly into little cubes and add round the sides.
7. Boil the scallop tortellinis very briefly in salted water then let to cool until just warm. Place on top of the mackerel tartar and garnish with raw thinly sliced asparagus.