Tag Archives: Fish

Valentine’s Day Menu: Main Course of Chermoula Baked Hake with Lime Yoghurt Dressing


I love this quick and easy dish. The flavours of North Africa are a particular favourite of mine and this traditional marinade for fish works particularly well with tabbouleh or just even some plain cous cous.


 2 fillets of hake (or any other white fish)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

A pinch of saffron threads, crumbled

2 teaspoons of  ground cumin

2 teaspoons of ground coriander

¼ teaspoon of  chilli flakes

1 tsp paprika

2 tablespoons of finely chopped preserved lemon skin

½ teaspoon of Sea salt

Olive oil

A handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the yogurt dressing:

2 tblsp Greek Yogurt

Juice & zest of ½ a lime


To make the chermoula, mix together the garlic, saffron, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, preserved lemon, salt and a good glug of olive oil.

To make the yogurt dressing, place the yogurt in a bowl with the lime juice and zest and mix. Season to taste.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C
  2. Place the fish in a baking dish and pour over the chermoula
  3. Cover in tin foil and bake for 20-30 mins, depending on the thickness of your fish.
  4. To check it is cooked, gently open a piece of the fish with a knife and check the flesh is opaque
  5. Serve the fish in it’s sauce and drizzle the yogurt dressing over.
  6. Garnish with the coriander

Atul Kocchar’s Mackerel Rechado from Taste of Dublin 2011

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!


Serves 4

4 mackerel, filleted, pin bones removed

For the spice paste:

2 dried red chillis

3 cloves

10 large garlic cloves

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

8 peppercorns

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

Gooseberry Chutney:

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.