Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Mackerel 4 ways

By Charlotte 

If you’re feeling frugal or if you just fancy a fish supper then I advise you continue reading. This post is dedicated to pre cooked packet mackerel which comes at an incredibly reasonable price, is pretty damn tasty and can be delivered in so many ways that we thought we would share 4 of our favourite dishes with y’all.

I would firstly like to mention that great cooks think alike; I came home on Tuesday with 2 packets of mackerel, ready for my evening of fish trials in the Keston Kitchen and after 5 minutes Ceri walked in and pulled out her mackerel (already in the fridge), some prawns and a haddock fillet. So, as I said, great cooks think alike. That evening 3 of the four dishes below were developed.

Dish number 1: Freestyle Mackerel Pate

This recipe was brought to my attention by our keen guest chef Miss Katie Green who often whips up this simple dish while in her Bristol kitchen. I remembered the ingredients, Googled the recipe and due to a shortage of lemons I improvised. The results were astounding, well, pretty good.

300g cooked mackerel fillets

150g Philadelphia cheese

1 tablespoon horseradish sauce

A splash of white wine

2 tablespoons capers

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Blend with a hand whisk and put into ramekins and chill.

Dish number 2: Ceri’s Mackerel Fish Pie

I was trying to watch Ceri as she made this for our dinner – which was fantastic I might add. Main comments to note, ‘lucky Rachael isn’t here as there clearly is not enough’.

1 packet of mackerel fillets (approx 180g)

1 haddock fillet, steamed

2 handfuls of prawns

50g peas

4 eggs, soft boiled

1 pint of milk


4 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 onion finely diced

Wholegrain mustard

2 tablespoons capers

Cheddar cheese


Olive oil

Mixed herbs

Boil the potatoes and mash with butter, milk and the mustard. Soft boil the eggs, then peel and quarter.

Cook the onions in a saucepan in some butter and oil, throw in the fish and add the milk. Bring to the boil and thicken with some cornflour if necessary. Add in the peas and cook for a few minutes. Grate in some cheddar cheese, throw in the capers, mixed herbs and season. Transfer the filling to a casserole dish and place the quartered eggs on top.

Cover with the mashed potato and grate cheese on the top.

Bake for about 20 minutes so that it is hot through and golden.

Dish number 3: Mackerel Fishcakes

Over the last 18 months I have developed a love for fishcakes. Making them with cooked mackerel seemed like a genius plan; easy, quick, impressive.

1 packet of cooked mackerel (approx 180g)

1 small onion, finely diced

3 large potatoes, peeled and diced



Mustard (any)

1 egg


Fresh dill (or other herbs)

Saute the onions in olive oil. Cook the potatoes and mash with butter and milk, then put in the fridge to chill. Flake the mackerel into a mixing bowl and add in the onions, mash, mustard, egg and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and put back in the fridge to chill. When cold enough mould into fishcakes, roll them in breadcrumbs and put on a plate (ready for further chilling-this makes them much easier to handle and cook). When you want to cook then gently fry them in a pan, turning once. They will need roughly 8 minutes on each side until they are hot through and golden.

Dish number 4: Summer Mackerel Salad

If you like mackerel (presumably you do if you have read this far), beetroot, green leaves, soft boiled eggs, green beans, cherry tomatoes, new potatoes, capers and cucumber then this is the one for you.

Mix together all the above ingredients and anything else you might fancy, such as broad beans, artichoke, anchovies, celery, fennel, the list goes on. Make a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (1:2 oil to vinegar) mixed with some mustard and honey and enjoy!


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