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Fish of the month recipe for Mackerel

Pan fried mackerel fillets, hot pickled slaw and fried capers

Pan fried mackerel fillets, hot pickled slaw and fried capers

Ingredients

4 mackerel fillets
100 ml rice wine or white wine vinegar
25 ml water
½ tsp dashi granules (optional)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
50 g carrot, finely sliced
25g shallot, finely sliced
2 juniper berries
2 black peppercorns
1 star anise
A sprig of thyme
Small pinch of chilli
Knob of butter
1 tsp capers
A few springs of chervil
Salt to taste
 

Serves 2

Preparation

Salt the flesh side of the mackerel and leave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, create the pickling liquid by combining the vinegar, water and dashi granules in a pan and warm gently over a low heat.

Wash the salt off the mackerel and lay it on a plate, skin side up and pour over the pickling liquid, so that it covers the flesh side but does not completely submerge the fillets. Leave to pickle for 10 minutes, then remove from the pickling liquid and pat dry, reserving the liquid.

Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and fry the capers until crispy, leave to dry on kitchen paper.

For the slaw, cut the carrot and shallot into thin strips and place in a pan with the juniper berries, peppercorns, star anise, thyme, chilli and a good pinch of salt. Pour the reserved pickling liquid over the slaw, bring to the boil and take off the heat.

Take the mackerel fillets and fry them skin side down on a moderate heat for 1 - 2 minutes, add a knob of butter to finish.

Once cooked assemble with some of the warm pickled slaw, the fillets of mackerel, capers and a few sprigs of chervil. Deglaze the pan with some of the pickling liquor, reduce briefly, and use to sauce the plate.

 

Cooking

Take the mackerel fillets and fry them skin side down on a moderate heat for 1 - 2 minutes, add a knob of butter to finish.

Once cooked assemble with some of the warm pickled slaw, the fillets of mackerel, capers and a few sprigs of chervil. Deglaze the pan with some of the pickling liquor, reduce briefly, and use to sauce the plate.

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Jack Stein

Jack Stein

Jack was born in Cornwall and is the middle son of three boys. He began his career in the hospitality industry as a kitchen porter during school holidays, in The Seafood Restaurant kitchen. At 16 he moved to front of house, where he remained throughout his education. Jack completed a BSc in Psychology and an MA in Ancient History at Cardiff University.

Upon completing his masters in 2003, he then returned to The Seafood Restaurant as commis chef then, after two years, took up the postion of sous chef at Rick Stein’s Café for another year.

Following this, Jack went on to Paris to stage at La Régalade, which ignited a passion for travel and a period of stage work all over the world. During this time, Jack travelled to Australia for an extended stay at Tetsuya’s in Sydney, before exploring the Far East and Japan.

Upon his return to Padstow, he re-entered The Seafood Restaurant as sous chef before moving on to a tournant role across the whole company. He is currently head of development for the company, leading the installation and introduction of a development kitchen for the business, where new recipes and ingredients will be tested.

My connection with seafood

Being born into a family who run a seafood restaurant meant that I was exposed to seafood from a very early age. Some of my first memories are at the feet of various chefs whilst they filleted fish in the restaurant. I don’t doubt that I was mostly getting in the way, but it greatly influenced my decision to become a chef. I have always lived by the sea and I always will, it means the world to me.

Why sustainability is important to me

I believe that having knowledge of sustainability issues ensures a good relationship with your supplier and product. These issues affect us all in our daily lives and the more you know, the better you can inform your own decisions and pass that information to others. Part of being a chef is training the next generation and sustainability is at the forefront of what modern chefs should be learning.

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