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Grana Padano PDO Cheese wafer with mackrel and mousseline

Serves: 4

Duration: 20 minutes (60 minutes prep)

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 150g fine grated Grana Padano PDO cheese
  • 4 large fillets of mackerel, skinned and pin-boned (previously frozen -20 for 24 hours)
  • 2 tbsp good homemade fresh tomato sauce
  • 2 black aubergine
  • 1 small bunches of basil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  For the pickling liquid:
  • 160ml white wine vinegar
  • 80g white sugar
  • 40g salt
  For the Grana Padano Mousseline:
  • 10g fine grated Grana Padano PDO cheese
  • 50g whipped cream (unseasoned)
  • 40g fresh ricotta

This recipe was sent in by Danilo Cortellini, Head Chef at the Italian Embassy in London.

“I am known in my very Italian family as the lunatic who mixes cheese with fish. Well, it is mainly mamma that, without being malicious, thinks that those two do not go well together. Well, in most cases she is right, but whenever I come across tempting ingredients I cannot resist trying to prove them wrong. There is certainly a delicate balance but it is achievable. I love mackerel and I love Grana Padano PDO. Grana Padano PDO cheese is really rich and so is mackerel so balance is key. It all comes down to the pickling of the fish.”

Top tip: Use the 16th month aged Grana Padano PDO cheese and not the older “Riserva” as it could be too strong for the mackerel

Recommended drink pairing: Enjoy this delicate starter with a bubbly glass of Prosecco DOC Brut.

 

Method:

1. To start with, prepare the marinade. Whisk salt and sugar in a mixing bowl with the vinegar until dissolved. Set aside.

2. Prepare the Grana Padano crisps by evenly spreading 1 tbsp of grated Grana Padano PDO cheese onto a plate covered with baking parchment. The cheese has to be very thinly and evenly spread. Cook in the microwave at maximum power for about 45 seconds (until melted and golden) than cut it straight away into shards and let them cool down.

3. To prepare the mousseline, mix the ricotta with the grated Grana Padano PDO cheese and gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula. Season to taste and place the mousse into a piping bag.

4. Drop the already skinned mackerel fillets into the marinade and let them soak for about 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Now chop the fish and place it into a bowl. Dress with olive oil, a spoon of mousseline and a few leaves of chopped basil.

5. Cook the aubergines directly on the flame of your stove until all sides are well burnt and really soft inside. Set aside and let it cool. Now peel them and blend the pulp. Pass the pulp through a fine sieve to get rid of the seeds and let it dry over a fine colander lined with a cloth. Season to taste.

6. Dress the plate with dots of burnt aubergine puree, tomato sauce and Grana Padano PDO cheese mousseline, alternate spoons of marinated mackerel tartar with the Grana Padano PDO cheese crisps to create a wafer. Garnish with basil leaves and serve straight away.

Ingredients

  • 150g fine grated Grana Padano PDO cheese
  • 4 large fillets of mackerel, skinned and pin-boned (previously frozen -20 for 24 hours)
  • 2 tbsp good homemade fresh tomato sauce
  • 2 black aubergine
  • 1 small bunches of basil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  For the pickling liquid:
  • 160ml white wine vinegar
  • 80g white sugar
  • 40g salt
  For the Grana Padano Mousseline:
  • 10g fine grated Grana Padano PDO cheese
  • 50g whipped cream (unseasoned)
  • 40g fresh ricotta

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