I saw this recipe on the television a couple of weeks ago while flicking through the less frequented satellite channels, Hugh’s mackerel, oatmeal, rhubarb, taken from Hugh’s Three Good Things on More4. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has recognised a simple pattern that underpins so many well-loved dishes – that they are little more or less than three good things on a plate.
This trifecta of ingredients fits that bill to perfection and tastes as good as it looks
Place in a pan with the sugar, thyme leaves, if using, and 1 tablespoon water.
Partially cover with a lid and cook gently, at a bare simmer, for 5–7 minutes. Don’t stir the rhubarb or it will lose its shape.
When it is tender, remove the pan from the heat.
Season the mackerel fillets all over with salt and pepper.
Spread out the oatmeal on a plate, I sieved the oatmeal first and used the larger grains that were left in the sieve
Coat the fillets on both sides, pressing the oatmeal on well and gently shaking off any loose bits. (For a decent coating, the mackerel should be ‘tacky’. If the oatmeal doesn’t stick, brush the fillets with just a little milk, and try again.)
Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
Add the mackerel fillets, flesh side down, and cook for 3 minutes, until the oatmeal coating is crispy and golden brown.
Then carefully flip them over and cook for 2 minutes on the skin side, until cooked through.
Transfer the fish to warm plates and accompany with a spoonful of the warm rhubarb compote.
After making up a batch of Lime Infused Vodka, I was left with whole batch of de-zested fruit. Rather than just throwing them away or quartering, bagging them up and freezing them for fruit ice cubes for drinks, I decided to make Granita (a semi-frozed Siciliana water ice dessert). This Lime Granita is zesty and cleanses the palette like a sorbet and is easy to make!
It’s also brilliant as the base of frozen Margaritas, just scoop into a salt rimmed glass and add Tequila…..
250 gm sugar
Juice of 12-14 Limes
Zest of 1 Lime
1 ltr water
Make a stock syrup by combining the water, sugar and Lime zest together in a saucepan and bringing to the boil.
Simmer for 5 mins and then allow to cool
Combine the stock syrup and Lime juice in a shallow freezer proof container. Spread of more than one rather than filling too deeply.
Freeze for 2 hours.
Now comes the repetative bit, it’s worth it tho. Every 15-30mins rake it with a fork so that it breaks up into little grainy ice crystals. Once the entire mixture is frozen, but grainy and separated it’s ready to eat.
Once you’ve made it, the Granita can be left in the freezer but you’ll need to rake it up before serving.
On a trip to the local supermarket I noticed a basket of limes, all reduced to 10 pence. The idea of a lime infused vodka came instantly to mind. What’s more this recipe only uses the zest, so I used the pulp to make a Lime Granita too, double bubble!
This flavoured vodka is great for mixing with Coke.
1 bottle of vodka
Wash the limes under warm water, to get rid of any wax coating
Removed the lime zest, (making sure that you don’t get any of the pith as it will make the taste bitter). This can be done with a zester or with a knife if you use a knife shred the bigger pieces of lime to increase the surface area.
Put the lime zest into a sterile bottle or Kilner jar
pour over the vodka and store in a dark, cool place for 2 to 3 weeks, shaking frequently.
Strain vodka through muslin or a coffee filter and bottle into a clean bottle.
The lime zest will lose it’s vivid green colour and the vodka will take on a pale green hue