With Taste of Dublin coming up this week, it got me thinking of last year’s event and all the fabulous dishes that were cooked at it. I often work backstage at Taste of Dublin with the team from Fairyhouse Cookery School. It is hard work but also great fun. The amount of planning and coordination that goes into ensuring the smooth running of the chef’s demo theatre is phenomenal!
Of all the dishes that were cooked, my favourite one by a long shot was Atul Kocchar’s mackerel rechado. Everybody that tasted it agreed that it was really superb. A fantastic use of spices with a great delicate pairing of star fruit & gooseberry compote. This dish is a fantastic summery meal-light but with plenty of flavour. There is a long list of ingredients but please don’t be put off by that as you may have most of them in your storecupboard and the method is very straightforward. If you can’t get your hands on all the spices, just use what you can-you will still have a great tasting dish even if it is not exactly as complex as the original. I have omitted the chutney on occasion and still had a great meal!
4 mackerel, filleted, pin bones removed
For the spice paste:
2 dried red chillis
10 large garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
6 green cardamom pods
2 tsp ground turmeric
6 Dutch red chillis
1 tsp brown sugar or palm sugar
4 tblsp tamarind pulp
red wine vinegar
200g gooseberries, fresh or frozen
50g apples, cored & chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp punch phoran (equal quantities nigella seed, fenugreek, fennel seed, black mustard seed & cumin seed)
1 tsp ginger, chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
50ml red wine vinegar
70g granulated sugar
salt to taste
For the Salad:
2 star fruit, sliced
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan then crushed
a handful of micro greens
1 tsp olive oil
Blend all the ingredients for the spice paste together, adding enough vinegar to make a thick paste. Apply and smear the paste well on the fish fillets.
Cook the fish in a hot oven for 7-10 mins or heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan, add the mackeral and fry for about 2-3 mins on each side, until just cooked through.
For the chutney, heat oil in a pan. Add punch phoran-sauté until it crackles.
Add the powdered spices and add the vinegar & sugar followed by the rest of the ingredients.
Cook for 30-40 mins until chutney is cooked and sticky.Cool and serve with the fish.
Mix all the ingredients for the salad together and toss well. Serve the fish, chutney & salad together.
éThis is a fabulous recipe for mackeral from last year’s Taste of Dublin.