Dear Ben and Phil,
My favorite It-Brit friend is finally making the jump over the Atlantic to live and work here in the states. I can’t wait to welcome her with a big hug and all the gourmet french fries she can handle. But I want to have an impressive British dish ready to make her for when the inevitable I-miss-home crash comes. Any ideas that might cheer her up with a dish that sings ‘God Save The Queen’!?
Tennessee, Boston, MA
Phil and I recently went back for a weekend to the Great Island of Britain and visited Cornwall where my Mum and brother live; a small county right at the bottom of the country. Unlike in the states, the Brits love oily fish like herring, which we smoke and turn into Kippers and for reasons unknown to the rest of the world serve them for breakfast with bones and all. One of the most popular of the oily fish and my personal favorite is Makeral. Inspired by my trip, I thought that I would share a recipe that may look a little more complicated than it is but is really fun to make if you are feeling a little daring.
Beetroot Hash with Pan Fried Mackerel and Creme Fraiche
1 Large Beet
2 Pinches Curry Powder
4 Pinches Salt
1 Pinch Chili Flakes
2 Firm Boston Mackerel, Butterflied
1/2 bunch roughly chopped cilantro
A good Non Stick pan
For the Hash
To Make the hash: grate the potato, beet and onion on a course side of a box grater, place in a bowl and mix in the salt and curry powder; let sit for 20 mins while you tie the fish. Place the grated ingredients in a colander and squeeze until you get as much of the liquid as you can out and place back in the bowl. Add half the clarified butter and shape the mix into little cakes about 3 inches wide and 1/4 inch high. Place the cakes in a non stick pan and cook for about 5 mins on each side until crispy on the outside and cooked and soft on the inside. The trick is make sure you have squeezed all the liquid out before they go in the pan.
For The Mackerel
By the firmest and sexiest looking Boston Mackerel that you can find. This is the most important part of the dish, shop around; get the lovely gentleman who sells you this fine fish to butterfly it (basically take the bone out and leave the tale on). Place your fish skin side down and season with salt, pepper lemon juice and some roughly chopped cilantro. Now for the tricky bit; to put the fish back together, cut 4 peices of string about 12 inches long and place on a board about 1/2 inch apart, put the fish on top of the string and tie the fish making sure the knot ends up on the side. Pour some olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Place the fish in the seasoned flour and make sure to dust off any excess before putting in pan. Cook the Mackerel on each side for about 4 mins at a medium heat, not too hot!
Place your lovely, crispy hash cake on the plate. Your mackerel goes on top; making sure to cut the string before. Add a generous spoon of creme fraiche to one side. Mix the chopped scallion, oil and lemon juice and spoon over the fish and around the plate, and enjoy!