Friday, 23 March 2012

Butterflied mackerel.

An afternoon off work so got out into the garden to spread a load of manure over the raspberries as they are beginning to shoot - we are very lucky because the field behind us is used for keeping horses and the owners happily pile the manure on the other side of the hedge to our garden so we can hop over and collect it anytime. So the raspberries, chard, garlic and other things got three barrow loads spread around them.
Managed to get some seed sown in the greenhouse as well - hyssop (which I have never grown before), more thyme (I find I never have enough fresh thyme!) and chanced my arm on sowing some more chervil, despite the packet saying May sewing is best.
Dinner was a butterflied mackerel. I checked out a few recipes in various books Elisabeth David, Moro, and a great Jenny Baker cook book I got years ago called Kettle Broth to Gooseberry Fool.
I settled on the Moro one as the others tended to go for the classic pairings like gooseberry and rhubarb, none of which are in season.
I have never butterflied a fish before but it seemed easy enough. As the fish monger had gutted it and taken the head off all I had to do was cut through to the backbone, spreading the fish out and then carefully remove it without cutting the fish in half. The Moro recipe said to then season the fish and oven cook for 8-10mins in a lightly oiled pan then sprinkle with finely chopped garlic, sweet paprika and parsley. I decided to sprinkle the garlic on before cooking as raw garlic no matter how finely chopped didn't sound to my tastes.
Even after 10 mins of oven cooking and only a light sprinkling of garlic the garlic was a bit strong for my tastes and I think next time I cook this recipe I will leave the garlic out or used garlic infused oil.
With the bright green of the fresh parsley and the deep earthy red of the paprika sprinkled over the mackerel it was, I must say, a very attractive dish.

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