Friday, September 2, 2011

Mackerel fillets with harissa and lemon

In one of the last fishing trips at sea, my father brought several mackerel as the reward of the time spent among the salt, the sea water and the sun. When fresh they have a look so appetizing. I didn't waste any time blinking my eyes before accepting my mother's offer and saying: yes, I want them!

I brought four beautiful mackerel that were frozen after being cleaned. It seems to me that mackerel became a fish that fell into disuse for a few years now. I recall that at my parents' house we all used to eat a dish with heavily salted mackerel cooked with potatoes. I have never liked it. So I had to cook the readily accepted mackerel in a different way.

4 mackerel
3 tablespoons flour
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon harissa
chopped parsley
olive oil

1. With a knife cut fillets of mackerel. To do this simply slide a sharp knife along the spine and remove the head. After cutting the fillets remove some of the bones.

2. Season the fillets with salt and put them through flour.

3. Cover the bottom of a non-stick frying pan with oil. Heat it. When the oil is hot, place the mackerel and cook them between two to three minutes for each side.

4. Mix the lemon juice with the harissa. Sprinkle the fillets with this mixture and let it finish cooking in the pan.

5. Sprinkle the fillets with chopped parsley immediately before serving.

I served these fillets with unpeeled boiled potatoes, cured olives and a cherry tomatoes salad.

The mackerel fillets were an excellent surprise. The flesh is firm and tasty. The acrid taste of the lemon and the slightly spicy harissa made this dish special. It worked very well.

Other recipes with fillets (written in Portuguese):
- Fillets in almond crust;
- Fillets with dry-cured ham filling en papillote;
- Fillets with herbs and citrus sauce;
- Grenadier fillets in tomato sauce;
- Herbs and cheese crispy crust fillets;
- Panga fish fillets au gratin;
- Roasted grey triggerfish fillets.

[ Originally published in Portuguese as Filetes de cavala com harissa e limão ]

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