Mackerel with caponata


Usually while watching Something for the Weekend, I am inspired to make something they have shown on the program that same evening. The other weekend I didn’t have the luxury somehow and I had to delay my cooking of this dish until Tuesday.

The preparation time was fast enough that you don’t have to save it until the weekend. Think of this like a posh salad with fish you could rep the caponata and sauce the day before.

1.For the caponata, heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onions, fennel, aubergine and celery for seven minutes. Add the tomato purée and fry for another two minutes.
2.Remove the mixture from the heat and place in a bowl. Add the capers, raisins, pine nuts, pepper, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix together until well combined.
3.Rub the mackerel with oil and place skin-side down in a hot frying pan. Fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
4.For the sauce, place all the ingredients in a pan. Stir over a low heat until warmed through.
5.To serve, divide the caponata between four plates. Place a piece of mackerel on each and cover with the sauce.

For the caponata
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 aubergine, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 tbsp tomato purée
50g/2oz capers
50g/2oz raisins, soaked in 50ml/2fl oz red wine vinegar and drained
25g/1oz pine nuts, toasted
½ red pepper, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mackerel
4 x mackerel fillets
2 tbsp vegetable oil

For the sauce
100ml/3½fl oz light soy sauce
2 oranges, juiced and zested
150ml/5 fl oz runny honey
1 red chilli, finely chopped

Making sure that your frying pan is hot before placing the mackerel in, is essential for a crispy skin, I know some people aren’t keen on fish skin but it is good for you. In my opinion a crisp skin is better than a slimy skin!
I had forgotten to buy red wine vinegar so just used a glug of (non expensive) red wine which worked well with the raisins.

If you can ask your fishmonger to de-bone or filet your fish then it will save you more time!

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