Mackerel With Bulgur and Tomato
Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.
- Servings: 2.
This recipe is from Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food by Nigel Slater. As with all the recipes in this handy volume, this recipe is made in small quantities and with instructions that are as much guidance as rules.
Mackerel is a very flavorful yet inexpensive fish. If your fishmonger has whole mackerel, ask them to remove the fillets, which should also mean removing most of the bones. Be sure to broil the fish with the skin on; you can always remove the skin after cooking. I particularly love this simple way of making a tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes. In the winter months when tomatoes are not very flavorful, I make this with plum tomatoes which I broil until the edges blacken. This is also a good time to use your best red wine vinegar.
A final comment: while the bulgur can certainly benefit from being made with good stock, there is so much flavor in this dish that making it with water is just fine.
- 1 2/3 cups (400ml) vegetable or chicken stock or water
- 1 cup (150g) bulgur wheat
- 8 medium tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 4 mackerel fillets
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Heat 1 2/3 cups (400 ml) vegetable or chicken stock, or water, in a saucepan. If you're using water, add a pinch of salt. Once heated, pour it over 1 cup (150 g) bulgur wheat and set aside for 15 minutes or so, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the grain. Fluff with a fork. Cover and keep warm.
- Halve 8 medium-size tomatoes and cook them under a broiler till soft and the skins have started to blacken, about 10 minutes; watch closely at the last minute or so of broiling so that they don't go from blackened to burnt.
- Remove the skins, pour in a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and season with black pepper. Crush the tomatoes with a fork to give a thick, coarsely textured sauce and keep warm.
- Brush 4 mackerel fillets with a little oil, season with salt and pepper, then cook under the broiler for a few minutes, skin side down, until the fish is opaque and a flake will pull away from the skin, about 5 to 6 minutes. If you like, you can turn the fillets skin side up for a minute or so, to crisp them lightly but do this carefully so that the meat doesn't fall apart.
- Divide the bulgur between 2 plates, add the mackerel fillets, then spoon over the broiled tomato sauce.