Don't Neglect Mackerel, Pan Fried Mackerel with Herb Butter from Rachel's Irish Family Food

Don't neglect the Mackerel, it makes for a fine meal as Irish chef Rachel Allen proves in Rachel's Irish Family Food (Harper Collins, February 19)

Pan Fried Mackerel with Herb Butter

My son Joshua will often fish for mackerel off the pier in late summer when the mackerel are at their best. He and his friends will bring back a few delicious fish, which he loves to cook himself. It is said the sun should never set on a mackerel; certainly it is a fish that must be eaten as fresh as possible. This is a simple but absolutely divine way to serve one of my favorite fish. Serve with Creamy Mashed Potato (page 166) and a green salad or Pea Purée (page 150) if you’d like.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

8 mackerel fillets, with the skins on

²⁄³ cup (75g) all-purpose (plain) flour,

seasoned with salt and pepper

2 tablespoons (25g) butter,

softened Lemon wedges, to serve

For the herb butter

½ cup (100g) butter, softened

2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pan Fried Mackerel

To make the herb butter, cream the butter in a bowl and add the chopped herbs and the lemon juice. Roll into a sausage shape and wrap in waxed paper (greaseproof paper) or plastic wrap (cling film). Put into the freezer to chill quickly.

Place a frying pan or a grill-pan over high heat and wait for it to get very hot. When the pan is hot, dip the fillets in the seasoned flour and shake off the excess. Spread the flesh side (not the skin side) with a little soft butter and place butter-side down on the hot pan. Cook for a couple of minutes, until crisp and golden, then turn over and cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, turning down the heat if the pan is getting too hot.

Serve on hot plates with one or two slices of herb butter slowly melting on the fish, with a wedge of lemon on the side.

(* Recipe from Rachel's Irish Family Food by Rachel Allen- Harper Collins, February 19, 2013- reproduced with permission)
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