Another way with fish for Friday. Simply add butter and aniseeds, then grill or fry. I have used mackerel this time but any fish suitable for grilling or frying works.
Mackerel is a wonderful fish and very high in omega-3 fatty acids. I saw it available at my local fish monger and it looked beautiful. Unfortunately I am not lucky enough any more to get fresh fish which my father used to catch. He used to love teaching us about all the different fish he used to catch. I used to think I was an expert at picking what fish was what. I realise now when I am at the fish mongers that my knowledge actually is now a bit limited…..I need to get myself a book on fish.
We did not have many books in our home growing up (my current home in London is full of books thanks to my husband) but one of the books we did have was on all the different ocean life in Australia. I used to love looking at it.
Back to the main subject. Mackerel. Mackerel is a great oily fish which is suitable to grill or fry. I asked my local fish monger to just gut one of the fish and leave the head on. With another mackerel I bough I asked him to butterfly the fish and remove the head. I fried the whole fish with butter and aniseeds, and grilled the fish on a griddle pan wit butter and aniseeds too. Although there was not much difference in cooking time (3-5 minutes on each side), I preferred the grilled fish a little better. It was easier to grill the fish which had been butterflied and turn over than frying the whole fish. It was also a little easier to eat.
In addition to cooking the fish with a little butter and aniseeds I made a tomato sauce known to us as Maltese piquant sauce. It is simply a tomato sauce with tomatoes, garlic, parsley, capers, olives, olive oil, salt and pepper and the secret ingredient vinegar. The vinegar does make all the difference. It gives the sauce a little kick and brings out the flavours of all the other ingredients.
These strong flavours all work well with mackerel. I then just added some green beans. You can use any green vegetable if you wish and some potatoes wouldn’t hurt either.
Another great choice over the Easter period on Fridays if you are abstaining from meat.
- For the Maltese tomato piquant sauce:
- 2 garlic cloves crushed or 1 small onion chopped
- 7 small to medium tomatoes chopped (you can also add 1 tablespoon tomato paste)
- 6 to 10 black olives
- 1 tablespoon capers
- Small bunch of parsley chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used red wine vinegar but you can just use white or brown)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- For the mackerel
- 1 large mackerel (about 1kg in size)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons aniseeds
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare the sauce first.
- In a frying pan on medium heat add some olive oil. Fry the garlic for a few seconds.
- Add in the tomatoes and tomato paste and fry for a few minutes.
- Add in all other ingredients and fry for about 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- While the tomato sauce is cooking prepare the mackerel.
- In either a griddle pan or frying pan add half the butter and aniseeds.
- Spread the remaining butter and aniseeds on the mackerel.
- Place the mackerel in the pan and fry on either side on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the fish.
- Serve the mackerel with the tomato sauce.
- You can also serve with some green vegetables and potatoes.