Fish of the month
Pan-grilled Mackerel with Parsley Butter
This is a master recipe for pan-grilling fish. The simplest and possibly the most delicious way to cook really fresh mackerel.
2-4 fillets of very fresh mackerel (allow 175g (6oz) fish form main course, 75g (3oz) for a starter)
small knob of butter
50g (2oz) butter
4 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
segment of lemon
First make the Parsley Butter. Cream the butter, stir in the parsley and a few drops of lemon juice at a time. Roll into butter pats or form into a roll and wrap in greaseproof paper or tin foil, screwing each end so that it looks like a cracker. Refrigerate to harden.
Heat the grill pan. Dip the fish fillets in flour which has been seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper. Shake off the excess flour and then spread a little butter with a knife on the flesh side, as though you were buttering a slice of bread rather meanly. When the grill is quite hot but not smoking, place the fish fillets butter side down on the grill; the fish should sizzle as soon as they touch the pan. Turn down the heat slightly and let them cook for 4 or 5 minutes on that side before you turn them over. Continue to cook on the other side until crisp and golden. Serve on a hot plate with some slices of parsley butter and a segment of lemon. Parsley Butter may be served directly on the fish, or if you have a pretty shell, place it at the side of the plate as a container for the butter. Garnish with parsley and a segment of lemon.