Fish of the month
Roast new potatoes and mackerel stuffed with chermoula
These salty, flavoursome potatoes work really well with the oily fish and a sweet, zesty chermoula that is full of coriander leaves. New potatoes roast really well and make a great change from the laborious peeling and unnecessary wastage involved when preparing regular roasties.
Roast new potatoes with rosemary and thyme, assembled but not yet cooked
4 mackerel, trimmed and gutted
light olive oil
For the chermoula:
1 red pepper, halved and deseeded
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon sweet paprika, plus more for the fish
1 red chilli, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
50g coriander sprigs, roughly chopped
10g parsley sprigs, roughly chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Wash each mackerel well, being sure to remove any of the blood line (the black bit along the spine) that will make it taste bitter. Dry it with kitchen paper. Put the roast new potatoes with rosemary and thyme in the oven. Now make the chermoula. Roast the pepper in the oven alongside the potatoes for 25 minutes, until soft, then roughly chop. Meanwhile, toast the cumin seeds in a small dry frying pan for a couple of minutes, until smelling aromatic and looking a shade darker. In a mortar and pestle or blender, grind the cumin with the paprika. Add the chilli and garlic and grind to a paste. Next, blend in the herbs and roast pepper, then stir in the lemon juice and a good glug of the extra virgin oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Stuff the cavity of each mackerel with a good 2 tablespoons of the chermoula, saving some to dress the potatoes. Put the fish in a baking tray, drizzle with light olive oil and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook in the oven alongside the potatoes for the last 15 minutes of their cooking time.
Check the fish is cooked by pressing the meat next to the spine. If it moves off the bone easily, it is cooked. If you are unsure, gently pull the flesh apart with a knife and check it is soft and opaque inside. Serve the fish with the potatoes and extra chermoula on top.