A sustainable nudge over mackerel with avocado and pomegranate salsa
If I say sustanibility what does that make you think of? Me, having food on my mind most times, will always connect it with food, or perhaps more correctly, where the food I am eating is coming from. Before starting I want to say that of course I sometimes buy convenience food but when I have the time and opportunity I buy most of my meat from The Black Pig Butchers. All of their meat can be traced to the farm where they were raised, it is all free range and organic as stated on their website. I buy most of my fish from the local fishermens cooperative, there is an active fishing fleet on the beach where we live. I haven’t thought about it but if we all take a little time, perhaps only for weekend meals, to go and buy local, organic ingredients we all help our planet and every little helps.
I recently recieved an invite from the Norwegian Seafood Council to a very interesting seminar “How can green solutions be good for business” I couldn’t make the full day but went for the afternoon. It was very interesting and there were some facts that sadly didn’t surprise me.
- 30% of the food that the world produces is wasted along the way.
- Every day about 800m people go to bed hungry and 2 bn of us wake up overweight.
Source the EAT Forum, Dr Gunhild A. Stordalen. The EAT Forum is an international consortium that collectively address the issues of food, health and sustainability across the fields of academia, business, politics and civil society to ultimately be able to feed 9 billion healthy people within safe planetary boundaries.
- There was a lot of talk about the sea. 70% of our planet is covered in water but only 2% of what we eat comes from the sea.
- If Norwegian cod and salmon were replaced with red meat, the carbon footprint would increase by 31 million tonnes of CO2
Source Solveig van Nes from the Bellona Foundation, an independent non-profit organization that aims to meet and fight the climate challenges, through identifying and implementing sustainable environmental solutions.
The impact that the food eco system today has on us and the enviromental consequences creates a massive challenge demanding a truly global view, breaking down silos between not only organisations but nations as well.This is what was discussed and there was a strong drive to nudge consumers in the right direction to start the change in behaviour.
Attending the conference and listening made me think of what I can do on an individual level, what we can all do if we give it an extra thought when we get our ingredients. I will come back to this in another blog and meanwhile I have created a recipe with sustainable mackerel. You can find the latest list of sustainable fish on the MCS website.
The recipe demands some pre planning but the cooking time is minimal, if you get the fishmonger to fillet your mackerel it will be even faster, and it is worth the time. I froze the fish to make sure all the bacteria had gone, we always do it when making gravlax in Sweden.
Mackerel on avocado and pommegranate salsa
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 24 hours for freezing, a few hours for salting and about a minute for pan frying
serves 4 as a starter
- 1 mackerel
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- oil and a knob of butter for pan frying
The avocado and pommegranate salsa
- 1 avocado
- pomegranate seeds from 1/4 pomegranate
- 2 firm tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 red chilli
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- pepper to taste
The fishmonger guted the fish and I filleted it. Once it was filleted I skinned it and removed the bones with a tweezer. I cut a diamond pattern on top of the mackerel and placed it in the freezer for 24 hours. You can see what fillet I did first! Lucikly I had bought two mackerels.
I de-frosted the mackerel in the fridge overnight and did a light cure of salt and sugar in the morning. I placed it on a plate covered with cling film and left it in the fridge for a few hours.
I prepared the salsa a couple of hours before serving for the flavours to have time to mingle. Peel and cut the avocado, I wanted a chunky salsa with avocado pieces rather than mashed. I sliced the chilli, crushed the garlic clove, cut the tomato up, chopped the parsley and mixed everything with the juice of a lemon and the olive oil. Taste with pepper and leave in the fridge. Take the salsa out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving so it isn’t “fridge” cold.
Just before serving heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Rinse the mackerel fillets and pat them dry. Cut them in to pieces and place them in the hot pan. Turn the heat off and leave the mackerel in the pan for a minute before removing the fish. Plate up the salsa and add the mackerel on top just before serving.
If we eat more food from the sea, together we can make an impact, small to start with but it is a nudge in the right direction and hopefully it can be a good starting point. Next time you are reaching for the meat, why not get some fish? Just make sure it has a sustanability label and of course that it is fresh, if it looks slimey or smells “fishy” don’t buy it.
I am bringing a plate of mackerel to the always lovely Angie’s party, Fiesta Friday. Angie is the best hostess you will ever meet and her blog The Novice Gardener is a constant source of inspiration. This week she has two wonderful co hosts, Juju, Cooking with a Juju and Indira, I’ll Cook You wash. Clever Judi made me laugh with her brilliant witches fingers, they look absolutely amazing please head over to her blog and have a look! Indira had a super warming winter warmer, Peanut butter hot chocolate, it sounds like a delicious heart warming sin in a cup!
Come and join us if you have cooked something or just hang out and get inspired! 🙂