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Showing posts from June, 2018

Mackerel & Seaweed Pate w/ Wild Seeds: Oven Baked In Burdock Leaf w/ Grass, Elderflower and Primrose Mead

I love Mackerel! It's a much under-rated fish except by those who have sampled its excellent
culinary qualities. Mackerel are members of the tuna family and are always present in UK waters. Summer is the best time to fish for these oceanic beauties when they congregate in great shoals lured closer to shore by the warmer waters. They are tastiest when freshly caught - I find they don't respond well to long term storage - and given how easy they are to catch, you'd be crazy to miss out on the fun and fine feasting they offer. Mackerel will eat just about any bait you offer them and you only need 1 large or 2 small fish per person to satisfy appetites.
It's very easy to get carried away when fishing for them due to their ravenous appetites, so adhering to a strict mindful, ethical code of practice is essential - I've caught a full-house on many an occasion and quite often after my first cast: a full-house is when you are using mackerel feathers as bait, these feathers…

Baked Pollack (or Pollock) with herbs and seaweeds

While exploring and playing on a delightful beach on Islay I managed to catch this lovely Pollack, total fluke catch really, was doing a demo cast for Liz of when it took the lure. It weighed approx 1.5 - 1.75lb. I'd been thinking (and hoping) of catching and cooking a fair decent fish using this method for a while and I'm really glad I got to do so while on Islay and in such grand company.

After dispatching the fish at the beach, gutting and cleaning - all parts discarded became food for other creatures - it felt only fitting to clean it in the very waters it had come from.

Pollack (or Pollock) Wild Thyme
Wild garlic
Sweet Cicely

Pepper dulse
Sea lettuce
Sea spaghetti

Poaching liquor:
Plum Liquer
Alexander root tincture
5 Carrot bitters

1) On returning to the hoose, 5 incisions were made on both sides of the fishes flanks and stuffed with wild thyme, crushed wild garlic stems, sweet ci…

Soused Islay Mackerel & Cockles

I recently spent a fantastic 3 days on Islay, Scotland, courtesy of
Bruichladdich & The Botanist Gin, as part of their International Foragers Summit.
This gathering brought foragers from afar including; South Africa, Germany, US & the UK. We foraged, explored, drank, laughed, cooked, ate, discussed, felt and sensed this beautiful isle as much as we could in the time allocated - we did pretty well too!
Here's a dish I created using mackerel caught by us all literally hours before, the cockles were foraged the previous day and the dish, as with everything else that wee, was shared by all that evening as we got merrily blotted. Dehydrated Velvet Horn accompanied this - imagine the most amazing 'wotsit' you've ever tasted yet oceanic flavoured....

Fresh Mackerel (filleted/de-boned)
Fresh Cockles (cooked/shells removed), 5 mins in a hot pan will cook them.

Pickling Liquor:
Apple Cider Vinegar,
Sweet Cicely,
Ground Ivy,

Mackerel Ceviche w/ Coastal Herbs, Sea Noodles & Sea Beet

This recipe culminated after a days foraging with friends on Anglesey 2015. I'd never made a ceviche before and after finding myself with the perfect ingredients; seaweed, coastal greens, fish, I did :)
1 fresh Mackerel, filleted, de-boned and skinned       
Sea Noodles
Juice of 1/2 a Lime/Lemon/Orange (depending on fish size/quantity you may need to up this citrus juice amount)
Sea Arrow Grass
Sea Purslane
Pepper Dulse
Red Chilli
Pinch of Sugar (optional)

1) Put the prepared Mackerel into a bowl with the all the other ingredients except the Thongweed. Stir & place in fridge for 20 minutes.

2) Plate the thongweed, spoon on the ceviche mix, add a little fresh chopped pepper dulse & extra sea purslane (I let the natural pepperiness & saltiness provide the seasoning). S

3) Serve with some fresh, gently steamed, buttered sea beet shoots/flowering shoots.

Feel free to play with other ingredients, add, detract etc flavour it up according to your …