Ever since reading Fiona Maclean’s post “Chocolate Ganache and Fennel Pollen Tart” I have been enchanted with the idea of using pollen in my cooking. Until then I didn’t even know that such an exotic ingredient existed!
Pollen makes me think of bees, flowers, spring, buzzing, green, and delicious earthy smells – all thoughts that can immediately put it a smile on my face. Oh how divine would it be to have such fairy dust to put a smile on my palate? I wanted some! Real bad!!
Fiona recommended that I contact David Mason from Global Harvest Limited, their claim being “producer & lover of all things edible”. With their amazing products such as the pollens or their award-winning quince, fig or Damson jellies all aimed at the “chef” in the kitchen – they hope that they “just might send customers’ taste buds into a mad frenzy of enjoyment…”. Now how could a curious foodie possibly resist?
Intrigued by the idea of reaching out to “chefs” in Germany, David sent me 2 small but potent samples by Royal Mail. I was thrilled and couldn’t wait, checking my post box everyday! day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4….. I will assume that due to the Queen’s Jubilee the Royal Mail service was very busy with celebrations and other such associated things last week so that my package finally arrived yesterday, 6 days later. 6 days of waiting, thinking, surfing and dreaming of what I would make with my fairy dust.
I definitely knew what I wanted to do with the wild fennel pollen (post coming soon) but was undecided about the wild dill pollen and I knew I had to smell it first to decide. I smelled and tasted both samples yesterday as soon as I had photographed the packaging with the pretty stamp of her Majesty at the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and the samples.
The fennel pollen smelled as exciting as expected and tasted sweeter than I had imagined – the dill pollen smelled like kosher dill pickles and had I been pregnant I would have sprinkled it on ice cream….. Yesterday evening I made my sweet dishes with the fennel pollen … yes you have to wait a few more days to view them but wasn’t ready for the dill pollen yet. I still needed more inspiration. And then today as I was driving home from work I heard a song by a band from Island, Island = fish, fish = dill, now I was on to something….
How about smoked trout in a cream cheese dip? With the dill pollen yes a good start but what else? Something sweet and something hot? Classically it would be lingonberry (Scandinavian cranberries) preserves and horseradish. But no, that was boring, it had to be more exciting. I stopped at the store just down the street and went down the aisles picking up the cream cheese and the smoked trout filets. Passing the vegetable aisle I instinctively picked up limes, fresh mint and a package of cooked peeled beets. Now that was more like it.
Once home, I opened the fridge and took out the tube of wasabi and another of my very favorite secret ingredients blueberry crema from Wajos – die Genussmanufaktur. Wajos is a traditional German, family-lead company in the 15th generation of making spirits. Since 2002 they combine fruity ingredients and herbs with spirits to create special vinegars, condiments and oils for the courageous and creative gourmet. And I knew immediately that their blueberry crema with its heady fruit note and it’s perfect combination of sweet and sour, would be the perfect bride for the wild dill pollen, a marriage made in fairy heaven.
Just like the wild fennel pollen, the infusing intensity of the wild dill pollen unfolds in food to a subtleness that brings out the flavor of your ingredients to a perfection that you can only differentiate when you make 2 batches of a dish, one with and one without. You can instantly taste the difference that only a few pinches of this magic natural pollen can make. They become the jewels in your secret ingredient box that you no longer want to cook without.
Thank you Fiona and David for introducing me to these special ingredients.
Here is the recipe for the delicious dip I created and is best served on pumpernickel rounds or slices.
Minted Smoked Trout Beet and Wild Dill Pollen Dip
- 125 grams/ 2 whole skinless smoked trout filets
- 1 cooked and peeled beet
- 200 grams/ 1 package of plain cream cheese
- Juice from ½ lime
- 1 tsp wasabi paste
- 6 mint leaves, washed and chopped
- 1 white scallion finely chopped
- 1 tsp of blueberry cream / alternative 1 tsp of blueberry jam
- ½ tsp of wild dill pollen
- salt & fresh ground black pepper
Putting it all together:
Place the cream cheese, wasabi and lime juice in a mixing bowl and mix well with a whisk.
Add the wild dill pollen, chopped mint, chopped scallions and the blueberry cream and mix with a spoon.
Shred the trout filets into pieces in a small bowl using a fork.
Chop the beets into small pieces.
Add the shredded trout and the chopped beets to the cream cheese mixture, grind in some fresh pepper and mix well.
Taste and add salt if needed, smoked trout is usually quite salty so make sure to taste first before adding any salt.
Transfer to a serving dish, cover and cool at least 30 minutes so the flavors can mix.
Stir once before serving with pumpernickel rounds or slices.
I hope your taste buds go into a mad frenzy of enjoyment – mine did!