Mackerel isn’t everyone’s first choice when choosing fish from the supermarket counter. A brownish muddy coloured complexion doesn’t exactly win any beauty competitions and ball your over with a sense of freshness and health. Although popular these days as being cheap people often give it grief for being a ‘dirty fish’. However…its full of excellent healthy oils, is reasonably priced and can importantly handle bold flavours such as Thai marinades, soya sauce and curried spices. Crusted in dukka and served on some nutty lentils here made a satisfactory Friday night supper.
- 2 mackerel fillets, scored on the skin side
- 1 tbsp dukka (see here, leave out the mint)
- 4 oz Puy lentils
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
- Very large bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- ½ lemon
- 25g hazelnuts
- Mint leaves for garnish
- Coconut/light olive oil
- If large, cut your fillets in half and season in a shallow bowl. Scatter over the dukka and add a slash of olive oil and massage the spices over the fish. Set aside until ready to cook.
- Simmer the lentils for about 18-20 minutes until tender but still with a bite/texture and the drain.
- Meanwhile, roast the hazelnuts in a very hot oven for about 8 minutes until toasted and the skins are beginning to peel off. When cool enough to handle rub off the skins and chop roughly into halves and set aside.
- Saute the crushed garlic in a little oil in the pan you cooked the lentils in until soft. Return the lentils to the pan and season generously. Add the parsley and lemon juice and mix to combine the flavours. Cover the pan to keep warm and set aside while you cook the fish.
- Heat a frying pan with a little coconut or olive oil until hot. Fry the fillets scored (to prevent them curling up) skin side for about 3 minutes until crisp. Turn for the final minute or so to finish the cooking and add the chopped hazelnuts to the pan at this stage also. (The mackerel will take a matter of minutes so don’t overcook of they will dry out)
- Serve the lentils topped with the mackerel fillets and scattered with the toasted hazelnuts and a few sprigs of mint. Could do with a dollop of lemony homemade mayo and some wilted greens.