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52 New Recipes in 2010 – 01, Mackerel with Potatoes and Spinach

January 20, 2010

Towards the end of 2009, I was basically living off pitta bread and hummus and regulating my energy levels and (chaotic) sleeping patterns with frequent injections of caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars. I had a lot of fun those few weeks, but spending Christmas at home being fed proper food by my mother convinced me that something needed to change. So, as part of my general ‘try new things!’ resolution for 2010, I’m going to cook a new recipe every week. And once a month, it will include fish.

I don’t really eat a lot of fish, but I recognise that a) it is healthy, b) if I’m picky about what fish I eat, it can be sustainable, and c) I’m not a child any more and ‘ew, it’s icky’ is a silly reason not to eat something. Especially when I’m so un-squeamish about meat. It makes no sense. I occasionally order fish when I eat out, and will eat it if someone cooks it for me, but I want to actually learn to like it, beyond smoked salmon, prawns (with the dangly bits taken off), canned tuna and scallops.*

So, last week, in the spirit of trying new things, I bought some mackerel fillets. (Smoked ones. I’m working up to raw fish.) I asked my more knowledgeable friends what to do with them, and they all said kedgeree, but I didn’t have any eggs. I therefore ignored everyone’s advice, and did a slightly modified version of this recipe for devilled mackerel with potatoes and spinach. I didn’t have any curry paste either, so I just improvised by rubbing it in olive oil and various things I found in the spice cupboard, and I had to fiddle around with the cooking times for the fish and potatoes, but generally it worked very well. I used too much chilli and it tasted a bit salty, but I think those failings can be attributed to my slapdash cookery skills and are not inherent to mackerel.

I feel disproportionately proud of myself. And I might, possibly, quite like mackerel.

Incidentally, they came in packs of two, so couple of days later I baked the other one and then flaked it into some pasta with some chopped green olives, parsley and lots of lemon (these being the only ingredients I had – olives count as one of your five-a-day, right?). This was also successful. =)

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* Except cod. I’m not going to eat cod. It’s basically the same as eating a panda.

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