Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Mackerel Escabèche

Mackerel is full of health enhancing omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains selenium, vitamins B6, B12 and niacin. It is yummy and it’s cheap too. What’s not to love?

Best to use an anodised aluminium frying pan to cook this recipe. Boiling vinegar in a steel pan can give a metallic taste.

Get two nice fat mackerel. Fresh mackerel will have shiny skin and clear eyes, like the ones in this picture. They will be firm to touch and not smell fishy. Ask the fishmonger to fillet them for you.

Peel and thinly slice a carrot, a small white onion, two cloves of garlic and half a stick of celery or half a small bulb of fennel. Chop up a big handful of fresh green herbs: oregano is lovely; you could also use flat-leaf parsley, thyme or coriander.

Dry the mackerel fillets with a paper towel and then shake them in a paper bag with some plain flour, salt and pepper so that they’re lightly dusted, not caked, with flour.

Pour a good sploosh of organic cold-pressed olive oil into the frying pan and fry the mackerel fillets on both sides until they’re golden.

Put the mackerel fillets, skin side down, into a shallow dish that is just large enough for them to lie snugly side-by-side.

Pour another sploosh of olive oil into the pan and gently fry the carrots, onion, garlic and celery or fennel until they just begin to colour. Now pour in four tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and four tablespoons of water. Add a pinch of salt, a few mills of pepper and a few crushed coriander seeds, if you have them. Chuck in the herbs. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked (it won’t take long).

Pour the vegetables and liquid over the mackerel fillets.

This is delicious eaten warm with crunchy toast or keep it in the fridge and then take it on a picnic.