Gooseberry and Mackerel Ideas and Recipes
We write this post almost immediately after a preliminary foray to the Pick-Your-Own place, where the strawberries are a little pale but the gooseberries are in full and triumphant swing. Gooseberries are a traditional accompaniment to mackerel, cutting through the fish’s oiliness to create all sorts of superfood wonderfulness. Coupled with the fact that, as of now (Summer 2015), fishonline gave some four out of six mackerel stocks a rating of 2, making it a reasonably good sustainable choice, it seems like mackerel with fresh gooseberries is the only way to go on a meat-free Monday.
The best vid we’ve found is this, from 2011, by Jeremy Lee, currently head chef at Quo Vadis. He enlists words such as strew and stour in a marvellously domineering Dundee accent, exhorting the listener to render their cream ‘the beautiful, pale, colour of a full moon;’ really, it’s a joy to hear even if you’ve no intention of going anywhere near an oven. Give it a listen:
(Find more vids, both amusing and informative, on our YouTube channel.)
And on to the notes. Regarding MACKEREL, as mentioned, quite a few stocks scored a 2 (on a scale where 1 = eat all you like, and 5 = avoid buying). Fish from elsewhere aren’t so sustainable though so, as ever, download the App from FishOnline for a handy check when shopping or eating out.
♦ As an oily fish, mackerel has all the usual health benefits – good for the brains and nerves.
♦ It goes with sharp flavours such as horseradish, tartare sauce or vinegary capers
♦ Other friends include citrus, shallots, parsley, all Asian flavours and, as an accompaniment, any kind of potato — from oniony mash to boiled new potatoes or chips
♦ Cool down the heat of summer with mackerel ceviche: dice the raw fish flesh and let it marinade in lemon and lime juice, seasoning and a little olive oil. The citrus juices ‘cook’ the flesh. Serve with pickled cucumber or a mint, yoghurt & cucumber dip
♦ To grill a mackerel, halve and flatten it, brush with olive oil and grill for six or seven minutes
♦ For a really great look, try cutting five or seven slits on one side of the fish, then stuff each slit with a slice of lemon or lime, and some fresh herbs, letting them poke out. Grill, roast or barbecue
♦ Bake a mackerel wrapped in prosciutto for a meatier taste and serve with tomato and pineapple salsa
♦ As with all fish, quick hot frying crisps up the skin and makes it look tasty. Do this while keeping the fish whole, or remove the skin and fry it separately, serving it as a ‘crisp’ if you’re in a MasterChef mood
♦ To make the simplest accompaniment to mackerel: just stew them gently for half an hour, in a lidded pot, with some butter and a little sugar to taste. Alternatively:
♦ The classic gooseberry dish is a creamy fool: mashed gooseberries with yoghurt, cream and icing sugar
♦ Despite being very sharp if eaten raw, stewed gooseberries are an excellent filling for tarts, crumbles, cobblers and pies. Choose small, slightly unripe berries for cooking
♦ Elderflower blossoms (which are still in season through June) give an extra layer of perfume to gooseberry dishes and drinks
♦ Gooseberry crumble – try this, by Titli (crazy name, crazy gal). You couldn’t get more of a contrast with Jeremy, but she’s just as compelling viewing:
This is a short entry since The Taster has yet to create full articles on gooseberries or mackerel, where possible — but we hope the above ideas might provide some inspiration. We do update entries, so check back any time. Click HERE for more ingredients.