Mackerel is one of our favourite oily fish and it tastes great, gently fried in a pan. This makes a great lunch or a light supper.
Mackerel, Gooseberries & Horseradish
250g green gooseberries
25g grated horseradish
250g crème fraiche
4 mackerel fillets
4 slices soda bread
1 bunch watercress
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper
A little butter
Mustard dressing (olive oil, wine vinegar, grain mustard)
1. Peel the onion and slice it finely. Crush and peel the garlic and chop it very finely. Melt a little butter in a pan and add both the onion and the garlic. Keep the heat low and stir pretty well constantly, allowing the onion and the garlic to soften and release their fragrance.
2. Top and tail the gooseberries (ie, remove the remains of the stalk and the remains of the flower) and then slice into two halves. Slide them into the pan with onion and garlic, and raise the heat a little. When those gooseberry juices start to flow slightly, add the sugar and stir it in until completely dissolved and combined.
3. Cook the gooseberry/onion/garlic combination fairly gently until all is soft and yielding. Set aside while you look after the mackerel and the horseradish.
4. Pat the mackerel fillets dry with some kitchen paper and season the flesh side with salt. Melt a little butter in another pan and when it is foaming a little, slip in the mackerel fillets and cook until just barely done. Do your very best not to overcook it. Test by pressing with your finger take the pan right off the heat as soon as the fish feels firm.
5. Transfer the fillets to serving plates with some of the gooseberry sauce. Toss the watercress with a little mustard dressing (combined to taste and given a good shake in a jam jar or other suitable container until it forms an emulsion) and arrange alongside the mackerel.
6. Whisk the grated horseradish into the crème fraiche and have it ready to hand round as you bring the plates to the table.