Sunday, 1 July 2012

Cooking Your Catch: Poached Mackerel and Peashoot Salad

Cold mackerel and peashoots salad
This is far from being the quickest method of cooking mackerel but it is totally foolproof for anyone not normally a dab hand in the kitchen and equally delicious. It was actually out on a skippered boat that I first came across this technique, when the skipper cooked up some freshly caught mackerel in the galley in the early part of the day. He used simply a big pot of sea water and we all helped ourselves to the cooled mackerel on the journey back in to harbour at the end of the day. The mackerel in this instance is served with a simple salad and some quick to prepare bruschetta.
Preparing to poach a whole mackerel in heavily salted water
Ingredients per Person

One gutted but otherwise whole mackerel
Sea salt
Generous handful of peashoots or other salad greens
1 medium tomato
3" piece of cucumber
Fresh basil to garnish
3 angled slices of French bread stick
1 clove of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Poached mackerel is removed from the cooled water

Put the mackerel in a very large pot. Season with plenty of sea salt and pour in enough cold water to ensure the mackerel is comfortably covered. All you do after that is heat until the water only just starts to simmer. Turn off the heat, put the lid on the pot and leave it alone to cool completely for two to three hours.
Flesh easily comes off the cooked and cooled mackerel
When the mackerel is cool, lift it from the pot and you should easily be able to pick the flesh from the bones. It will actually start to fall off in large pieces, it is so moist and tender.
Tomato and cucumber is roughly chopped for salad
Roughly chop the tomato and cucumber and mix them with the peashoots and some seasoning. Lay the salad in the base of a serving plate and arrange the mackerel pieces on top. Roll and finely slice the basil leaves before scattering them over the mackerel as a final garnish.

Toast the slices of bread on both sides. Peel and lightly crush the garlic clove and rub it over the hot top of each slice. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper and your tasty meal is ready to serve.
Mackerel and peashoots salad with bruschetta

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