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Mackerel lovely recipes


(Serves 4)

This traditional presentation pairs the tender fish with an "cscabeche" that explodes with a bounty of flavors.

Prep Time: Total, two days


For potatoes:

  • Yukon gold potatoes, 1.5 pounds
  • Kosher salt, 2 tablespoons
  • Turmeric, 1 teaspoon

For Mackerel Escabeche:

  • Mackerel steaks (2 inches thick, about 12 ounces each), 4
  • Spanish onion (peeled, .25-inch dice), 1 large
  • Curry powder, 1 tablespoon
  • Ground cumin, 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric, .5 teaspoon
  • Garlic (peeled, thinly sliced), 20 cloves
  • Habanero chili (seeded, cut in quarters), 2E3Bay leaf (fresh), 12
  • Thyme (fresh), .25 bunch
  • Sherry vinegar, 2 cups
  • Mexican oregano (dried), 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar, I teaspoon
  • Black pepper (ground), .5 teaspoon
  • Allspice (ground), .25 teaspoon
  • Cloves (whole), 2
  • Soft-stick cinnamon ("canela"), 6-inch pi
  • Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon
  • Bell pepper (seeded, .25-inch dice), 1
  • Red pepper (seeded, .25-inch dice), 1
  • Yellow pepper (seeded, .25-inch dice), 1

For garnish:

  • Lime juice (fresh), .5 cup
  • Scallion (thinly sliced), 1 tablespoon
  • Italian parsley (chiffonade -thin strips), 1 tablespoon
  • Koser salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Grill, Dutch over or braising pan

Preheat a grill until red hot Cut 4 pieces of jute twine, available at a hardware store or garden center, each 2 feet in length. Wrap each steak around twice, then tie in the center of one side with a double knot.

Rub the mackerel lightly with 2 tbl of olive oil, then season with salt and black pepper. Place the mackerel fish steaks cut side down on the grill. Grill 4 to 6 minutes until well marked, then turn each steak 90 degrees and continue grilling. Turn over and repeat. Transfer to a platter and reserve. Fish does not need to be cooked entirely, just
until firm, with prominent grill marks.

In a heavy Dutch oven or braising pan large enough to hold all the mackerel steaks, heat the remaining 2 cups of olive oil and the onion over moderately low heat Cook until the onion is softened, but not brown.

Stir in the curry powder, cumin and turmeric. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the curry aromas are released. Stir in the sliced garlic about cook about 3 minutes, until garlic is softened. Add habanero, bay leaves, thyme, sherry vinegar, oregano, sugar, pepper, allspice, cloves, cinnamon and remaining I tablespoon of kosher salt.

Bring to a gentle boil then add mackerel steaks and diced bell peppers.

Cover and simmer over low heat or in a preheated 320 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the mackerel steaks over and simmer 10 minutes longer, until cooked through. Remove from the heat and cool fish in the braising liquid at room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 days.
Prepare the potatoes the day of serving by first paring the potatoes into fairly even ovals. Cut into .75-inch thick slices and reserve in a bowl of cold water.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the salt. Add potatoes and bring back to a boil.

Boil 5 minutes, then add turmeric. Continue to boil until potatoes are tender but still firm when poked with a fork - note: about 5 minutes more.

Place the pot of potatoes in the sink and run cold water over the pot to reduce temperature, continue to run cold water until potatoes are cooled enough to touch. Drain the potatoes and reserve.

Bring Mackerel escabeche in its braising liquid to room temperature. Stir in lime juice for additional seasoning, with salt and pepper, if desired.

Arrange potatoes attractively in a single layer on a large platter. Place the mackerel pieces in the center and remove the twine.
Remove and discard any bay leaves, cloves, thyme stems and cinnamon.
Sprinkle with scallion and parsley to finish.