Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Spicy Mackerel and Roasted Mixed Veg

Pan fried mackerel fillets are served on a bed of spiced roast vegetables

On Monday, a couple of my friends were away on a sea fishing trip out of Oban in Argyll, on the West Coast of Scotland. I was disappointed not to be able to go on the trip but at least they dropped me off a couple of fresh mackerel on the way home. I absolutely love mackerel, especially as fresh as this, and after a quick think and trip to the supermarket, this was the simple, tasty and nutritious dish I came up with for a late dinner.

Roasting vegetable ingredients


12 ounce tray of mixed Mediterranean roasting vegetables
1 medium red chilli pepper
1 large clove of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 fresh mackerel
2 tablespoons plain/all purpose flour
Generous shake of medium chilli powder
Vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
2 or 3 basil leaves, rolled and thinly sliced, to garnish

Vegetables prepared for roasting


Start by getting your oven on to preheat to 220C/450F/Gas Mark 8.
Deseed and slice the chilli and peel and slice the garlic clove. Add them to the tray of vegetables along with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir carefully but well. Cook in the oven for half an hour.

Fillets removed from freshly caught mackerel

When the vegetables were in the oven, I filleted my mackerel. I simply sliced off the two side fillets before carefully using a v-shaped double cut to remove the central ridge of bones. The dark skin and side bones can carefully be scraped away with your filleting knife.

Boning mackerel fillet

It's not essential but I like to remove the vegetables from the oven half way through cooking and give them a bit of a stir with a wooden spoon.

Vegetables are stirred half way through roasting

The mackerel fillets take literally only two or three minutes to cook in this way, so around five minutes before the veg are due to be ready, scatter the flour on a plate and season with salt, pepper and chilli powder.

Seasoned flour for dusting mackerel fillets

Pour a little oil in to a small, non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a fairly high heat. Pat the mackerel fillets on their skin sides only in the seasoned flour and lay them skin sides down in the pan. Season the flesh sides with more salt, pepper and chilli powder.

Starting to pan fry mackerel fillets

Keep the heat under the pan moderately high. The skin will protect the flesh and ideally crisp up that it is easier to remove. When you can see the mackerel flesh is cooked almost all the way to the top, turn the heat off under the pan, turn the fillets and leave them to complete cooking in the residual heat while you attend to the vegetables.

Mackerel fillets are turned

Take the tray of vegetables from the oven and use a slotted spoon to arrange them in a serving dish.

Roasted vegetables form bed for mackerel fillets

Lift the mackerel fillets on to the vegetables and garnish with the basil to serve. The crispy skins are edible but can be easily lifted off and discarded if preferred.

Mackerel fillets are laid on vegetable bed

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