I have been crazy busy of late, with fingers in so many pies that sometimes I wonder whether I will actually complete any of the things I am working on. Where does that expression come from anyway? I mean who puts their finger in one pie, let alone several? In today's sanitised world, those fingers better be gloved or environmental health will not be happy!
I have recently changed my working hours and now work 4 days a week at the WI so I can do other things. I'm in discussions with lots of cookery schools to run classes for them and have my first Vietnamese course booked in at the Dancing Trousers Cookery School in the Cotswolds at the end of the month. It's fully booked so it should be a good course. Alongside the teaching I have also started selling patisserie at local Farmers markets, however I'm still perfecting my product so more on that soon.
I've also been spending a lot time on recipe development and this dish is one that I've recently added to my repertoire. It typifies my modern global approach to cookery, what in another era may have been termed 'fusion' food. Try cooking the mackerel on a barbecue for that extra charred flavour.
Miso Marinated Mackerel with Celeriac, Pear and Wasabi Remoulade
2 tbsp miso paste
2 tsp sake
2 tsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
4 mackerel fillets
150g celeriac, julienned
5 cornichons or cocktail gherkins, diced
1 tsp capers, chopped
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
¼ unripe conference pear, peeled and julienned to the same thickness as the celeriac
2 ½ tbsp. mayonnaise
1tsp wasabi paste
salt and pepper
Mix the miso, sake, mirin and sugar together and smear all over the mackerel fillets. Wrap each fillet tightly in clingfilm and allow to marinate overnight in the fridge.
To make the remoulade, bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the celeriac for 45 seconds. Drain thoroughly and place on a clean tea towel to absorb excess water. If it is too wet it will make the remoulade sauce too runny.
In a bowl combine the mayonnaise with the wasbi paste. Add the capers, cornichons, tarragon, celeriac and pear, stirring gently to combine. Season and reserve until needed. If you want to make this ahead of time you can mix all the ingredients except the pear, then add the pear just before serving.
To cook the fish, heat a grill to the highest setting. Lightly oil a baking sheet then place under the grill on the highest shelf to heat up. After 2 minutes of heating remove the tray and place the fish, flesh side down onto the tray. You should hear a sizzle as the fish hits the metal. Place the tray under the grill and cook for about 1 minute. The skin should blister and blacken but don’t allow it to burn too much. After one minute turn the grill off, place the tray on the floor of the grill oven, shut the door and leave for 2 minutes for the fish to cook through.
Place a line of remoulade down one side of a plate and a mackerel fillet, skin side up alongside it. Garnish with nasturtium leaves and drizzle with olive oil.