Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Tuesday supper

Spiced mackerel, crushed Jersey Royals, cucumber and dill salad

Serves two

Whole Cornish mackerel, filleted (skin on)
Teaspoon fennel seeds
Teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
Jersey Royal potatoes
Whole cucumber
Bunch fresh dill
Extra-virgin olive oil
Maldon salt
Black pepper

First make the marinade. In a pestle and mortar crush to a paste two cloves of garlic with a big pinch of salt and the spices. Add four tablespoons of oil and combine well. Lay the fish out in a shallow dish and, using your hands, coat the fish in the marinade. Cover and chill for at least half an hour, if not overnight. Scrub the potatoes and put in a pan with cold water and three garlic cloves still in their skin, plus a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Meanwhile, peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthways, and - using a teaspoon - scoop out all the seeds and discard (or eat). Using a potato peeler, shred the cucumber into wafer-thin strips. Dress with salt and your best olive oil. Chop the dill and - using your hands - coat the cucumber in herbs. It will sit happily for 10mins or so. When the pots are ready, drain them well and return to the pan. Squeeze the garlics out of their skins (they will be tender and mild and delicious). Dress with olive oil, salt and pepper and using a masher break them up loosely - do not mash, just rough them up a bit so they absorb the oil and seasoning. To cook the fish, heat a non-stick pan to very hot; lay the fillets skin side down first and cook each side for a couple of minutes, turning carefully once. Serve the fish on a bed of the crushed spuds, with a generous heap of the salad on the side.

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