Mackerel is a well-flavoured, highly nutritious fish and is good simply grilled and served with a fruity sauce – here gooseberry and fennel, flavoured with elderflower cordial. A side dish of rosti potatoes and a green vegetable complete the meal. Ask the fishmonger to clean the fish and remove the heads if you wish.
Many children prefer fish without bones. An easy solution is to ask the fishmonger to remove the head of the fish, then slit along the back, open out the fish and remove the bones and the guts, leaving a large flat piece of boneless fish. Grill as in the main recipe. * The boned mackerel can also be stuffed. To make an apple and fennel stuffing, combine 100 g (3½ oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs, 1 medium dessert apple, cored and finely chopped, 2 tbsp finely chopped bulb of fennel, 2 tbsp finely chopped celery, the grated zest of 1 lemon and a good pinch of fresh or dried thyme. Add a beaten egg and a little salt and pepper and stir until thoroughly mixed. Spoon the stuffing on one half of each fish, then fold over the other side of the fish to re-form the fish shape. Arrange the mackerel on the foil, brush with the lemon juice mixture and grill as in the main recipe.
All oily fish must be eaten fresh as they spoil rapidly. The expression ‘holy mackerel’ comes from the days when a special licence was given to markets in Cornwall to sell the catch of the day on a Sunday. * Gooseberries are a good source of vitamin C. Because of the high acidity of the fruit, the vitamin C is preserved when they are cooked. * Columbus brought the sweet potato to Europe from his first voyage to the New World. Sweet potatoes have more vitamin E than any other vegetable and also provide good amounts of vitamin C and potium.
A, B1, B6, B12, C, niacin, potium, selenium * E, copper, iron * B2, folate, calcium, zinc