Rosemary-fried mackerel fillets with buttered new potatoes, pickeled samphire + radishes

Rosemary-fried mackerel fillets with buttered new potatoes, pickeled samphire + radishes

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Serves
2-4
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

I love fresh mackerel, and my most vivid memory of eating it was one summer in Norway when we pulled dozens of the shiny silver beauties out of the fjord with drop lines. We gutted them on the boat, cooked them as soon as we got home, fried in butter and herbs from the garden, and ate them with a pickled cucumber salad. I love how woody, aromatic rosemary works with the bold flavour of mackerel, and I’ve added pickled samphire for juiciness and acidity, to cut through its richness.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g small new or jersey royal potatoes, washed
unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped chives
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 fresh mackerel fillets, pin-boned
olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 lemon, for juicing
small bunch radishes, leaves removed, washed and very finely sliced with a mandoline, (I like the colourful heirloom varieties)

Samphire pickle

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons caster sugar
pinch salt
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
100g samphire, washed

Method

  1. Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for 25–30 minutes until they’re soft and you can easily slide a knife or fork into them. Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pan with a knob of butter and the chives, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  2. Now make the samphire pickle: you want to do this as close to cooking the mackerel as possible as the samphire will discolour. Dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar and then pour it into a saucepan along with the samphire and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, and transfer to a bowl, letting the samphire steep in the pickle juice and turning it over occasionally with your hands to coat.
  3. Season the mackerel fillets with a little salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan, add the rosemary and stir into the oil, then cook the mackerel for 2–3 minutes, skin-side down, pressing it down with a fish slice, until the skin is crisp. Flip them over, add a knob of butter, and cook for another 2 minutes, until the flesh is opaque, basting the fish with the herb-infused butter as you go. To serve, lay the potatoes out on a platter, surrounded by the samphire pickle, and arrange the fillets on top. Scatter over the sliced radish, squeeze over some lemon juice and enjoy.
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