Once again on the quest for healthy eating I have decided to start New Years Eve off with a bang...a bang of a fish that is...dessert and noise makers will come later with the popping of the champagne...
Mackerels are one of the most over looked fish and we should be eating more of it today. Now is the time to enjoy delicious, healthy Spanish Mackerel. Spanish varity have darker meat and are one of the tastiest of the Mackerel family.
The Spanish Mackerels are also one of the richest sources for Omega-3 fatty acids. These are the polyunsaturated fatty acids with huge health benefits. They are easily filleted and excellent eating baked, broiled, steamed, smoked, poached, or fried. Spanish Mackerels are members of the large family of fish that include the Tunas and other Mackerels. Although these fish vary greatly in size, they share many common characteristics including being very fast, powerful swimmers. The average size of Spanish Mackerel is from 2-3 pounds, while a weight of 9-10 pounds is considered large.
Mine was 3 1/2 pounds and I chose to purchase him whole, so that I could use the head and rest for making my own stock. Besides the fish market guys will gut it for you, and you can show off to friends by cutting it up or cooking it whole! I like to start by cutting right behind the dorsal fin on the top to bottom and take the tail end off. It is too thin for steaks, and I will smoke that piece another day. Now cut off fins on mid bottom and top...good...now cut 1 1/2 inch steaks by holding the fish with a plastic bag and with serrated knife cut from top into fish until you feel the bone, now lay it down and push knife right into the side and all the way through...do not saw...this will tear up the meat...just make sure you use a sharp knife. I figure out how many steaks I can get and then stop right behind the head fins...got it? You will be proud of yourself for taking the time to create your King masterpiece! SPANISH MACKEREL FILLETS, BAKED or GRILLED
Yield: 6 servings.
2 pounds Florida Spanish mackerel fillets or steaks 1 1/2 inch thick 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup butter, melted 2-4 tablespoons lemon juice- reserve a lemon and cut into slices for garnish 1 teaspoon grated Florida onion 1 teaspoon fresh chives per fish steak- reserve T for garnish after cooked
Melt butter, squeeze lemon juice over fillets, and then butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and then chive. Place cut lemon wedges over each fillet.
Bake at 350 degrees F, for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. I take the pan and deglaze with some white wine and reduce; add bit more butter, garnish with a wee bit more chives and you have yourself a sauce!
"I experiment with Flavors"...
Elizabeth Stelling, hails from her home state of Texas and has been involved in the food industry via institutional, fast food, B&B's, ethnic eateries and other restaurants since she was fourteen. Now living n New Jersey she has ran her own cafe, teaches culinary classes, runs a small boutique catering and staffing business, restaurant consulting for NJWBO, is a personal chef and shares her love of cooking with local, organic, healthy, and natural ingredients with the community.
Chef E is a member of Slow Food and the American Wine Society, Princeton, New Jersey. She has published written works of poetry and media pieces, as well as ran Open Mics in the Princeton, NJ area.
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