|Fried mackerel fillet with gooseberry sauce|
July is peak season for gooseberries. They are traditionally used in desserts and preserves, and I’ve previously posted recipes for gooseberry fool, gooseberry jam, and gooseberry pie.
Gooseberries can also be used in savoury cookery. Their sharp sweetness goes especially well with pork or oily fish such as mackerel.
Here’s a quick and simple recipe for fried mackerel fillets with a sweet and sour gooseberry sauce, ideal for dinner on a summer evening.
Fried mackerel fillet with gooseberry sauce (serves 2)
2 fillets of fresh mackerel
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) olive oil
1-2 shallots, or half a small onion
4 oz (approx 125 g) fresh gooseberries
1 teaspoon (1 x 5 ml spoon) demerara sugar
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) lemon juice
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) chopped fresh herbs (I like mint, sage, or oregano, or a combination thereof)
Peel and chop the shallots or onion.
Top and tail the gooseberries (this means cutting off the stalk at one end and the remains of the flower at the other).
Fry the onion or shallot gently in olive oil for a few minutes until softened. Add the gooseberries and continue to cook gently for another few minutes until the gooseberries have produced some juice.
Add the sugar, lemon juice, vinegar and chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Leave the sauce to simmer, uncovered, over a low heat while you fry the mackerel fillets.
Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat.
When the butter is melted and starting to foam, make sure it is spread out over the bottom of the frying pan and put the mackerel fillets in, skin side down. Fry the fillets for about 3 minutes.
Turn the mackerel fillets over and fry the other side for 2-3 minutes. The flesh should be opaque and a knife should slide in easily.
Remove the mackerel fillets from the frying pan, transfer to a plate, and pour the gooseberry sauce over them.
Serve with new potatoes and salad or a green vegetable of your choice.