This has got lunch on a sunny day all over it. The contrast of textures and flavors is as good as it gets. As a chef I am always looking for rock solid combinations. Lime, dill and mackerel is one of those. Aim for trimmed and pin boned fillets of mackerel from your fishmonger, explain that you are following a recipe. The very least you will get is the fish filleted. The bones you will see, just try and pull them out with tweezers or pliers don’t get bogged down by that, a few bones doesn’t matter.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
2 small or 1 large mackerel fillet per person
2 red chillies de-seeded
5g fresh dill
75g spring onions (1 bunch)
100g sweet potato per person ( a medium potato)
100g courgette per person ( a large one)
100g rocket salad leaves
Peel the sweet potatoes and slice lengthways 1cm thick . Get your cast iron griddle pan (see chef’s tips) nice and hot and then turn down to medium. Toss the potato with the olive oil, and cook until the marks are prominent and the sweet potatoes are soft. About four minutes each side. Don’t let them get too black. The potatoes will be reheated in the oven so you can do these in advance.
Slice the courgettes 1.5cm thick (thicker than the potato) lengthways, and cook the same as the sweet potato. Courgettes have a much faster cooking time, one and a half minutes each side should be be enough, use your own judgement as well. These will also go under the grill to reheat so be careful not to overcook. Lay the potatoes and courgettes onto a baking tray lined with paper or foil and put to one side ready to reheat under the grill. Drizzle a little honey over the sweet potatoes, squeeze some lemon over the courgette and season both with sea salt and black pepper.
Chop the chillies nice and small leaving the seeds in if you like it hot. Slice the spring onions into rings, and roughly chop the dill. Put 20ml of olive oil into a shallow pan and soften the chilli and the onion. Add the juice of two limes two generous pinches of sea salt and half the dill. Remove the pan from the heat once softened and put to one side.
Brush the mackerel fillets with oil and season well. Cook them skin-side up under a hot grill until the skin is crispy. It shouldn’t be necessary to turn them as they are quite small and thin, they would normally cook through, though turn them if you think it is necessary. As soon as the fish is cooked take it out and put the courgettes and potatoes under the hot grill to warm through.
Lay your plates out and put a few leaves of rocket in the centre. Take out the tray from the grill and lay a slice of sweet potato, a slice of courgette a bit more rocket and the fillets of mackerel. Divide and spoon over the dressing and repeat between the two plates.
Finish with a sprinkle of fresh dill and a wedge of lime.