BBQ MACKEREL STUFFED WITH SALSA VERDE
A tasty and easy way of preparing fish. I am sure you will like it very much.
• 4 medium-sized mackerel, gutted
• Olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salsa verde:
• A generous bunch of flat-leaf parsley, tough stalks removed
• 6-8 basil leaves
• 6-8 mint leaves
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 4 anchovy fillets/optional/
• 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed
• 1 teaspoon English mustard
• Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
• Olive oil
1. Make the salsa verde first: put the herbs on a large board and chop them well.
2. Combine the garlic with the anchovies and capers and chop/mash them together into a coarse paste. Bring the chopped herb and anchovy mixtures together and chop again.
3. Pile the whole lot into a small mixing bowl and add the mustard, lemon juice and some black pepper to taste. Stir in just enough olive oil to make a thick green sauce (it shouldn’t be runny or sloppy). Taste and adjust the seasoning, then set aside.
4. Now remove the head and fillet the mackerel leaving the fillets joined at the tail end.
5. Remove the pin bones (the small bones that stick directly out of the thickest part of the fillet) to create the a V-shaped channel in each fillet that holds the salsa verde.
6. Run a good smear of the salsa verde down the V-shaped groove in each fillet of mackerel, then smear a little more over the flesh.
7. Close up the fish and secure in a couple of places with kitchen string. You can do all this preparation several hours in advance and chill the fish until needed. In fact, the flavour will be better this way.
8. To cook, set a large, heavy frying pan over a medium heat. Brush the fish lightly with oil, season them and fry for 5-6 minutes on each side, until the flesh is cooked through. Alternatively, brush them with a splash of oil, season and roast in an oven preheated to 200-220°C/Gas Mark 6-7 for 12-15 minutes. They can also be barbecued.
Preheat your barbecue in the usual way until it reaches the correct temperature. Cook turning once, bearing in mind you may have to adjust the cooking time slightly depending on how hot your barbecue is or how near the heat source the food is placed.
Also works with
• Trout (small)
• Sardines (large)