Cooking what you’ve caught has to be one of the most wonderful experiences to share with a young person. Whether you’re fishing from the harbour arm, casting from the beaches or catching them from your kayak, there’s great fishing to be had whilst staying at the cottage.
Preparing this grilled mackerel has become a ritual for us and something everyone gets involved in. It’s also a forgiving meal to prepare in the galley kitchen, as the cabbage and potatoes can be prepared in advance, with the potatoes warmed in the micro just prior to assembly.
Shred your preferred cabbage (sweet spring greens are the favourite for us) and cook until tender (boil or micro) then cool immediately under a cold tap. Dry in a salad spinner or tea-towel and place to one side.
Next is to prepare, what amounts to, a fresh Tartar Sauce by combining the creme fraiche, shallots, capers and cornichons. Stir about half into your cold cabbage and place in the fridge, along with the remaining sauce.
Potatoes need boiling, slicing and setting aside to keep warm in a bowl with butter and sea-salt. If cooking for a number, or if children are getting involved you can remove some of the stress by cooling the potatoes as per the cabbage and then reheating in the micro when you’re ready to assemble.
Prepare your mackerel fillets (the knives in the cottage are sharp so be careful!) and preheat the grill. Brush the fillets in oil place on a baking tray skin-side down until the flesh is opaque, then carefully turn them over.
Whilst the mackerel finish, slice and plate up your warm potatoes, stack cabbage on top and spoon some of the sauce around the plate.
When the mackerel skins are crisping remove and place atop the cabbage. A few twists of black pepper and tadaaaah. Award the kids badges for the fishing and a GCSE home economics Grade A for the dinner. Award yourself a Dark N’Stormy and your work here is done.
The original version of this recipe was taken from the Balthazaar Cookbook which is out of print now, but still available from Abebooks