NEIL'S RECIPES: MACKEREL WITH SHAVED FENNEL AND CAPERS

by Cafe St Honoré in


"Mackerel is one of, if not my very favourite fish and there are a lot of them out there in our oceans. Absolutely delicious pan-fried with good oil, lemon and salt. A wonderful dish to eat with a simple salad of shaved fennel, and that sharp piquant hit from the capers in the sauce. Be careful not to burn the fish when cooking. Get the non-stick pan out for this dish!"

 Image: Paul Johnston,  Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 1
Prep time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 4 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 fillets of fresh mackerel, all bones removed

1/2 fennel bulb, peeled

A few salad leaves

Chopped mixed herbs, like chervil and dill

1 tablespoon mini capers

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon lemon vinegar, or any fruit vinegar will do

2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Juice of half a lemon

Good salt and pepper

METHOD

Make the salad by slicing the fennel on a mandolin or cutting very thinly with a knife. Add this to a bowl with the chopped parsley, vinegar, capers, 1 teaspoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Set to one side. 

Place a non-stick pan on a moderately hot hob and heat 1 tablespoon of oil, swirling it to coat the base of the pan. Ensure the fish is dry, then carefully place the fillets skin-side-down into the hot pan. Press down lightly with a fish slice, then season with salt and pepper. Ensure the skin is in contact with the oil and doesn’t warp in the heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, season again, then carefully turn over and cook for 45 seconds. I prefer it to be cooked slightly under, rather than over. 

Remove the mackerel from the pan and place straight onto a plate. Garnish with the fennel salad and a few mixed leaves and herbs. Drizzle with the remaining oil and a good squeeze of lemon.