Canal Boat - - This Month -

Fire up the coals for a sum­mer treat


1 small to medium mack­erel per per­son Two ta­ble­spoons of olive oil 1 ta­ble­spoon of whole grain mus­tard Herbs if avail­able 2 scrubbed lemons cut into wedges.

When the weather per­mits we do turn to the bar­be­cue and the Cap­tain in­sists that it is his manly duty to pre­side over his usual of­fer­ing of pink chicken, black sausages and far too many burg­ers. So when I get a chance, I try to find some­thing dif­fer­ent – such as mack­erel.


Be­fore you start, do re­mem­ber your bar­be­cue hy­giene and once the coals are hot, put on the grilling rack and al­low it to heat up thor­oughly to kill off any germs.

Get the fish­mon­ger to gut, descale and re­move the fins of the fish un­less you are able to do it your­self and don’t stuff the cav­ity. This en­sures that the fish cooks quickly and thor­oughly through­out.

Let’s as­sume the sun is shin­ing, the beers are flow­ing and your guests are ready to eat. Take each mack­erel and wipe it with a kitchen towel. Rub some le­mon juice and whole grain mus­tard over the skin and in the cav­ity. If you have a sup­ply of fresh herbs, either bay leaves or rose­mary, lay these over the hot grill and place the fish onto the herbs. Some will stick to the fish but that adds flavour.

Us­ing tongs turn the fish ev­ery four min­utes mak­ing sure that the skin doesn’t burn. Dur­ing cook­ing, baste with more le­mon juice and olive oil mix, although too much oil will make the coals smoke, spit and flame. The fish will take ap­prox­i­mately 12 min­utes to cook – largely de­pend­ing on its size. When cooked, the skin should come eas­ily off, the flesh should fall from the bone, be eas­ily parted with a knife and flakey too. To dou­ble check, re­move one fish from the rack and thor­oughly test it. Serve with le­mon wedges, Mediter­ranean cous cous, which is avail­able in su­per­mar­kets, rice or new pota­toes and a crisp, green salad.

And, if rain stops play on your party, just fol­low the same in­struc­tions and cook the mack­erel un­der the grill.

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