Mackerel with Horseradish Risotto

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I love my fish and as I’ve said before it’s all come from being a butcher never wanting to have steaks as a paid for meal. I never do mackerel though. It’s not that I don’t like it or am allergic to it, it’s all down to the freshness. Every TV chef you see especially Rick Stein (who’s autobiography I’m reading at the moment called, funnily enough, Under a Mackerel Sky.) always bangs on about how you must eat mackerel as fresh as possible. There’s my problem. When do you ever see fresh mackerel? Living in a well to do seaside town as I do , you’d think getting fresh fish would be a doddle. No! I work for a well known Giant of supermarkets and I’m sad to say that the fish counter is the usual stuff that always sells. Salmon, Cod, Smoked Haddock and Mackerel. Trouble is, the mackerel does not in any way look fresh. The eyes don’t glisten the gills don’t look red and you know the horrible fishy smell would linger in your house for days after.

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Well guess where I came across some fresh looking mackerel. yes, Lidl of course. They weren’t whole they were filleted but they were vacuum packed and you could see the skin was shiny and the flesh was firm.

I’ve watched enough cookery programmes in my time to know what goes together with mackerel and quite often horseradish is mentioned. Don’t panic, I’m not using fresh horseradish as I haven’t got any but I do know a fellow blogger who’s bound to have some on his allotment.

No, I cheat. I used a good old jar of horseradish cream. I buy this as it seems to be a bit more punchy than horseradish sauce..

So how do you make horseradish risotto? Well It’s as simple as anything. Just make your risotto in your usual way. I always tend to use a fish stock cube if I’m doing a fishy risotto.I do always have my homemade chicken stock to hand but come on, fish needs fish right? At the end when you’re adding your parmesan add a good whole tablespoon of horseradish. I never give quantities as I believe a cook should always taste as they go.

As you see I added peas to the risotto this was to help bulk out the meal and also peas and fish are a must. I refrained from an earlier idea of doing a wasabi pea puree thinking that it might overpower the rest of the dish. I’ll save that gem for another day.

The mackerel was simply fried in a little oil. I cooked it with the skin on but once cooked the skin came off easily.

And there you go, it was as simple as that.

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The household critic enjoyed this to the point of not wanting to eat it all just to save a little for lunch at work. But the desire to wolf the lot down was too overpowering.

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I can’t give you a wine recommendation this time as the critic was on the wagon today. I’d say have whatever you wanted, as you can believe I don’t go for that white wine with fish bollocks. As I’m currently watching the latest Masterchef I can only imagine this being so much better than 50% of the dross John and Greg get served up. You never know, I might just go for it one day.

I still remember old men from my youth putting out mackerel lines on the beach but I do think the sea was 2 miles closer back then.

Try this one and enjoy. Mugsie

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