Fresh fish is always a favourite meal of mine. In fact, I have never tried any fresh fish I have not enjoyed. But aside from the flavour, what makes fish really enjoyable is knowing where it has come from, from sustainable stocks and caught humanely and ethically. This is why I am proud to be a Fish Fanatic for Fish is the Dish, which promotes eating more of the right kinds of fish.
Following a recent trip to Cornwall, which I will tell you about very soon, I decided to try cooking four different fish at home. I wanted to make sure I used fresh fish, native to the British Isles, which has been line caught. You will have heard of some varieties of fish I cook with, and you may not have heard of others. Everything I will be cooking is really inexpensive and seriously good for you. Fish is the Dish sent me this fish from Wing of St. Mawes, who are based in Cornwall. For those of you who are not comfortable or confident at preparing fresh fish, it may be reassuring to know that all fish comes deheaded, cleaned and filleted, so there is nothing for you to do with it apart from cook it.
The first variety of fish on my list is fresh mackerel. Fortunately, mackerel stocks are far from depleted in the Cornish waters. If, like me, you are not a fan of smoked mackerel which is often sold in vacuum packs, simply because the flavour of the fish is a bit too intense, let me assure you that fresh mackerel is completely different. Being an oily fish, it has a more pronounced flavour than white fish, for example, but its flesh is very flavoursome and sweet. Yes, you will have to watch out for bones when eating, but it is not a fiddly fish to cook or eat.
Here’s how I cooked the mackerel, in the simplest way.
Grilled mackerel with a Greek salad
For the fish
- 2 fresh mackerel
For the Greek salad
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 10cm piece of cucumber, peeled, and cut into 1cm chunks
- ¼ red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 50g feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tbsp black olives
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- A little fresh mint
Plus fresh bread to serve
1) Preheat the grill to a medium hot temperature
2) Ensure the mackerel are clean and dry. Rinse them under the cold tap and pat dry with kitchen roll if you are unsure
3) Place the mackerel on an oiled piece of tin foil and place under the preheated grill. Be careful not to position them too close to the grill element or flame, as the tails and skin will burn quickly
4) Grill the mackerel for around 5 minutes on each side
5) Meanwhile, make up the Greek salad.
6) Place the tomatoes, cucumber, feta and olives into a bowl
7) Pour the oil into a small jug or cup, add the red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper and whisk together well.
8) Pour the dressing over the salad and mix together well
9) The mackerel will be cooked when the flesh flakes away from the bones and the skin is soft and peels off the flesh.
10) Serve the grilled mackerel with the salad and some fresh bread to mop up the juices