A Fishy story . . . .


calicoThe hot weather continues (and long may it do so!) so this week we went up to North Wales to our boat.  And before you all get the idea of g & t’s on the deck as the sun goes down – this is a fishing boat, not a gin palace!  I can get terribly sea sick so if I am on it the weather has to be perfect!  And this week, it was.  Wall to wall blue skies and the water like the proverbial mill pond.  There is a small cabin where I slept and we made up a bed for John on the deck (not a hardship as the temperature dipped rarely below 20oC and actually peaked 32oC!). We were up at 6.00am  and out on the water early, chasing mackerel – partly to eat and partly to use as bait for tope – a member of the shark family. We failed on the tope but did manage a few mackerel (there is nothing like the tug of the fish on the feathered line we use), anchored the boat in some shallows off a deserted beach and cooked them there and then. Swam in the sea and sunbathed.  We could have been on the Mediterranean – and without the hassle of airports.

Look out for mackerel in the market and your fishmonger – and make sure they still have bright eyes!

Oriental style citrus Mackerel

  • 1 orange, juice only
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 mackerel fillet, cut in half
  • 1/2 lime, juice only
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
  • handful fresh rocket
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges, to serve

Place the orange juice, soy sauce, chilli flakes and sesame seeds into a frying pan and simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.  Add the mackerel and cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Remove from the heat, squeeze in the lime juice and scatter with coriander.  Place the rocket leaves into a bowl, pour over the juices from the mackerel pan and stir.  To serve, pile the rocket salad onto a serving place, top with the fish and garnish with orange wedges.

 Smoked Mackerel Pate (this will make more than 1 serving but it will sit happily in your fridge for a couple of days – and you can also freeze it in individual pots)

  • 400g smoked mackerel fillets
  • 250g crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated horseradish
  • 1 tbsp creamed horseradish
  •  Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 pinches of smoked paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  •  Freshly ground black pepper

Take the skin off the mackerel and break the flesh into flakes, discarding any bones. Mix the crème fraîche with the fresh and creamed horseradish and the lemon zest and juice. Carefully stir in the mackerel flakes, herbs and spices, then add pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and leave to chill in the fridge for 2 hours until firm. Serve with sourdough toast.





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