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Spanish Mackerel

Mackerel is one of the loveliest fish there is, one of the tastiest, cheapest, most versatile and most plentiful. And it’s scorned by nearly everyone, symbol of stinkiness, a fish we think of as to strong-flavored, too oily, and too fishy.

But Mackerel is fatty, rich flavored, moist and so sweet that it is almost requisite to cook it with acidic flavors such as lemon or tomato. It is the mackerel’s fat that has given it such a bad reputation. But sirloin steak has a high fat content too. And, unlike steak, mackerel is high in omega 3s and low in cholesterol.

The English prefer mackerel smoked, the Japanese and French pickle it, and the Greeks dry it in the wind. All of these excellent treatments are rather old-fashioned ways of preserving a fragile fish. It is exceptional to broil a whole mackerel, and also just as nice to grill it. You can also poach or roast fillets.

Spanish Mackerel with Orange Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or a pinch dried
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 Spanish mackerel fillets, a total of about 1 lb. Skin on
  • 2 oranges, segmented, or peeled and thinly sliced

Mix the olive oil, orange juice, thyme, salt and pepper together in a shallow bowl. Add the mackerel and marinate for 20 minutes. Preheat the broiler.

Place the mackerel on a broiling or baking pan and brush with the marinade. Broil about 6 inches from the heat source, basting once or twice for 5 to 8 minutes, until the fish is lightly browned and almost cooked through (it will be tender and opaque throughout). Top with the oranges, baste once more, and broil another minute. Serve immediately. Yield 2 Servings.

Grilled Spanish mackerel with bacon

  • 4 Spanish mackerel fillets
  • 8 slices of good bacon

Wrap each fillet with two slices of bacon. Place the mackerel on the grill skin side down over low to medium heat, 4 to 6 inches from the heat source, turning frequently until the bacon is slightly crisp and the mackerel is cooked through (opaque throughout). Total cooking time 10-15 minutes. Serves 2.

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