The humble and delicious mackerel

Last week was a bit manic but I love how random life can be. I never thought I would cook for a film crew, or that it would be that much fun! The crew was so lovely and today I got a small glimpse of some of the film and it looked even better that I thought. There might be some filming later but for now what is filmed is going to post production.

This week I have dedicated some time to thinking about the future and I always think better when I am cooking. To clear my head I went for a brisk walk along the seafront. The sun came out and it was so beautiful I just had to smile to myself. I am sure from the corner of my eye I could see other walkers give me a funny look but who cares?




The fishmonger had some lovely mackerel, it was big and fat and I thought it would be perfect for dinner. The fishmonger had smoked some herring and he gave me one to try. They are called bloaters as they are smoked whole. He cut the head off, pulled out the intestines and gave me the rest. I came away with two filleted mackerels and the bloater, what a bounty.


The smoked herring 04Nov_Bloater


Smoked herring cut open with the roe04Nov_SmokedHerringInside


The fish was nice as it was and the roe was delicious. Somehow the smoky flavour came through more here and it was saltier than the flesh. I separated the flesh from the roe to flash fry before serving.


I wanted to make a starter and I found this recipe by Chef Kevin Mangeolles. I had all the ingredients and thought I would give it a go. I was intrigued by the combination of horseradish and watermelon, or watermelon and mackerel. I didn’t have all of the ingredients so here is my version of Chef Mangeolles Mackerel and Horseradish.


I cut the fillets in half as they were so large. 04Nov_MackerelFillets


Mackerel & Horseradish, my version

preparation time 5-10 minutes 

cooking time 4  minutes 

resting time 20 minutes

serves 2


  • 1 mackerel fillet
  • 2 slices of a 1/4 watermelon
  • 1-2 tbsp grated horseradish
  • 3 tbsp soured cream
  • smoked herring roe
  • oil for cooking
  • salt and pepper to taste

I cut the fillet in half and placed the smoked herring roe in the middle.




Then I cling filmed it and wrapped it firmly, tied up the ends and left it in the fridge to firm up for a minimum of 20 minutes.





Mix the soured cream and the grated horseradish, set aside until ready to serve. Cube the watermelon. When the 20 minutes, or more, are gone cut the fish in to chunky slices. Heat oil in a pan, salt and pepper the outside of the mackerel and add the pieces to the pan. Add them one by one and hold each piece down for a few seconds or the skin will curl and turn over the mackerel/smoked roe piece. When all the pieces are cooked on one side turn over, hold them down again and let them quickly sear and then turn the heat off.

Brush the plate with the horseradish, add the watermelon and finally garnish with the mackerel and serve.






I still had three fillets and the smoked herring. I started by making an aubergine dip.


Spicy aubergine dip 

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 40-50 minutes 

oven 140C or 280F

serves 2


  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 tbsp mix of garlic, chilli and ginger
  • 1 heaped tbsp low fat yoghurt
  • salt to taste

Prick the aubergine with a small knife, place in an oven proof dish and bake until soft.Then place in cling film and let rest. When cooled the skin will come off easily.




Peel the aubergine and cut in to chunks. 04Nov_RoastedAubergine


Add the chilli/garlic.ginger mix 04Nov_SpicyMix


Blitz in a blender with the yoghurt until smooth. 04Nov_AubergineDip


It will never be a looker but it tastes great and is very low in fat.


I sliced a large potato in to thin slices for a sort of Pommes Anna. I layered the slices and brushed them thinly with olive oil. I added salt, pepper and rosemary and baked them in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 175C or 350F.




I added a little salt to the mackerel about 20 minutes before cooking to firm it up a little and right before cooking I added a twist of black pepper before pan frying the fillets. Start skin side down and hold them down for a second or two or the skin will curl.


The potatoes came up nice and crispy on the edges, and the fish just cooked through. The aubergine dip added a spicy but very soft element.




Tomatoes added some acidity and it was a nice and healthy meal with lots of interesting flavour combinations. Fresh fish is always a treat and it takes so little to make it so delicious!


I am bringing this to Angies Fiesta Friday, the foodie party that is so much fun I never want to miss out! Angie is the hostess and author of the inspiring blog The Novice Gardener. Angie is joined by Nancy, Feasting with Friends who brought an irresistible looking vegetable strudel and Loretta, Safari of the Mind who brought something that sounds very exotic and that looks delicious, a Goan Caramel Bread Pudding! Have you cooked something? Come and join us!






14 Responses to “The humble and delicious mackerel”
  1. andy says:

    The mackerel doesnt look humble anymore 😉 You have weaved magic 🙂

  2. It looks wonderful, really creative combination of the fish and watermelon. I love your recipes.

  3. Nancy says:

    How wonderful to purchase such fresh fish and create such a beautiful dish! Your preparation sounds quite simple, yet full of flavor. Love the bed of watermelon you served with the fish. The aubergine dip looks delicious as well! Thanks for sharing your fabulous recipes with the party goers at Fiesta Friday. 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Nancy
      It was simple to prepare and I am so glad you like it. The flavours worked so well I was really surprised and the watermelon added freshness that I really liked 🙂

  4. Ginger says:

    This looks amazing – I absolutely love mackerel and will have to reconsider my own humble version after reading this 😉
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Ginger x

  5. Loretta says:

    What a wonderful dish that you’ve prepared for us on Fiesta Friday. Welcome, and thanks for your contribution. Mackerel, I just love, and I’m sure all those unusual ingredients would go down so well. I was actually salivating just reading through the ingredients, and that roe……yummmm! Enjoy the weekend!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Loretta
      Thank you for stopping by and for co hosting FF this week! Fish when it is this fresh is amazing and such a treat! 🙂

  6. YOu come up with the mos exotic combinations that look like art on a plate, Petra! Just gorgeous!!

  7. Jhuls says:

    I love Mackerel and this looks so good to me, Petra. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

Check out what others are saying...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: