I was recently challenged by Fish is the Dish to create a recipe using ingredients which I would be sent and would include some type of fish. Many of us don’t get enough fish in our diets and I am a firm believer that omegas carry incredible health benefits. Omega 3 for example, is thought to have huge health benefits to the heart and brain, including lowering blood pressure and reducing the symptoms of depression.
I had no clue which ingredients would be included, until the delivery arrived, just that they would cost no more than £15 and my recipe should take less than 30 minutes. For me, this is quite a big challenge, because I tend to follow recipes, rather than make them. It turned out to be an even bigger challenge, when I opened the delivery and realised that I had NEVER cooked with ANY of the ingredients I was sent, with the exception of potatoes!
However, I was excited, I picked out and put together ingredients which I feel work well together and then started cooking. I was extremely proud of myself, when the end result, was a meal so tasty, I had to go back to the kitchen and make more! Not only that, but my children loved it too (even my recently-fussy 7 year old).
The ingredients I was sent, were:
Fresh mackerel fillets
A red onion
Cherry tomatoes on the vine
Spicy citrus cous cous
I started with the cous cous, which was ridiculously easy to make – just add hot water and wait! I chopped the red chillies really small (removed the seeds so it wouldn’t be too hot for my little ones), fried them in a little butter and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. I added the chillies with lemon juice to the cous cous, along with some fresh coriander and a sprinkle of paprika. The result was a very tasty citrusy cous cous with a little kick to it.
Horseradish and red onion potatoes
Next up I boiled the potatoes. I fried the red onions and added a large spoonful of horseradish and a handful of chopped chives. I coated the potatoes in this onion mixture to give them some flavour. The red onion nicely sweetened up the horseradish and the chives cooled it down. It turned out to be a very nice potato-salad style sauce.
Mackerel has a lovely flavour by itself and I didn’t want to spoil that by doing too much to it. So quite simply, I fried the mackerel in a little oil and topped it with a small squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper.
I heated the tomatoes through in the frying pan I had used for the onions, and then everything was ready to serve.
This meal took about 20 minutes to prepare and even then, I was taking my time over it. The cous cous and the potatoes added sweet, sour and spicy dimensions to the meal, and both complimented the mackerel very well. Despite never having cooked with any of these ingredients before, this turned out to be one of my greatest achievements in the kitchen! It has also inspired me to be more creative with fish and generally to eat more fish, so my family can benefit from the omegas.