Tuesday dinner: Mackerel, cucumber, tomato, avocado, quinoa
Mackerel and cucumber salad. Simmer a mackerel fillet very very gently in Hugh F-W’s fish poaching liquid for 2-3 hours until it’s cooked and flavourful but still moist. Leave to cool, remove and discard the bones and skin, and pull the flesh into large flakes. Mix these flakes in a bowl with chopped cucumber, and dress with sushi vinegar.
Tomato and avocado salad. Peel and cube an avocado, and toss with freshly-squeezed lime juice. Add halved or quartered cherry tomatoes, season with celery salt, and toss again.
Quinoa with preserved lemons. Cook quinoa until done in vegetable stock, then drain, spread on a large plate, and leave to cool and dry. Mix in some chopped preserved lemons, some snipped garlic chives, and a few spoonfuls of liquid from the preserved lemon jar. Mix well and transfer to a bowl to serve.
(Spreading the quinoa on a plate before mixing in the other ingredients helps to stop it getting mushy.)
Saturday dinner: Mackerel, potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes
Grilled mackerel. Fillet, bought frozen, defrosted and patted dry, grilled on a piece of foil, skin-side down first then turned to crisp the skin. (Note that “grilled” in UK English means the heat comes from above.)
Mashed potatoes. Peeled, cubed potatoes, boiled until soft, mashed with Eastern European-style sour cream.
Caponata. Made with courgettes and cherry tomatoes instead of my usual aubergines and tinned tomatoes, hence more watery/saucy than usual. This came from the freezer too; it was a spare portion I froze a while ago.
Wednesday dinner: Mackerel, courgettes, aubergines, giant couscous
Shallow-fried mackerel. Skin-on.
Courgette and aubergine stew. Made with the end of a jar of pasta sauce, a bit of dairy-free pesto, and a few spoonfuls of home-made tomato and chilli dipping sauce.
Giant couscous. Cooked in vegetable stock.
Wednesday dinner: Fish, rice, eggs
Kedgeree. I suspected I would be working late tonight, so planned a quick-to-make dinner. Eggs were boiled last night, onions were pre-fried (I slice and deep-fry a large batch two or three times a year, and keep them in a jar in the freezer), rice was done in the rice cooker during the day.
Heat a generous lump of butter in a pan, add curry paste, fry for a few minutes. Tip in some pre-cooked rice, toss with a spatula until rice is evenly coated with spices and no clumps remain. Add crispy fried onions, smoked mackerel (broken into large flakes), hardboiled eggs (shelled and quartered). Mix well, salt to taste, and continue to cook until heated through. Mix in chopped parsley and serve.
Sunday lunch: mushrooms, aubergines, mackerel, rice, potatoes, oranges, almonds
Gluten-free, dairy-free lunch for several friends. All vegetarian aside from the mackerel, all vegan aside from the mackerel and the cake.
Sunday dinner: mackerel, mushrooms, gnocchi
Slow-cooked mackerel. I did this in the oven, gas mark 6, in an oven dish covered with foil. Gas mark 6 was too hot — when I checked it after two hours, it was bubbling, so I decided to serve it then. It wasn’t bad! I’m going to save the simmering liquid to use again (will strain and freeze it).
Gnocchi with mushroom sauce. Sauté a small amount of finely-chopped onion in butter; once it’s soft, add a good quantity of finely-chopped mushrooms. Cook gently until the mushrooms have given up their liquid, then add a squeeze of lemon juice, a generous slosh of double cream, and several spoonfuls of water from the pan that you have just finished cooking some gnocchi in. Drain the gnocchi, add to the sauce pan, mix well, serve. Don’t leave out the lemon or it will be boring.
(These two things don’t really go together, but that doesn’t bother me.)
[bob cooks] Saturday dinner: Mackerel, bacon, samphire, beetroot, radishes, carrots
bob cooked tonight.
Skin-on mackerel fillets coated with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cooked in a griddle pan.
Samphire panfried with groundnut oil, butter, and squeezy garlic.
Red salad. Grated beetroot, grated radish, grated carrot, chopped celery, all mixed with some sliced crispy bacon (done in the oven) and dressed with bacon fat, white wine vinegar, olive oil, horseradish mustard, and some light brown sugar.
Wednesday dinner: Rice, eggs, yoghurt, cucumber, and leftover fish
Monday dinner: Fish, vegetables, and bean thread noodles
Slow-cooked mackerel. I used mackerel fillets that had been in the freezer perhaps a little too long, but it was pretty good regardless. There were lots of small bones in the fish before I cooked it, but none of us noticed them while we were eating, so I guess they softened or dissolved or something… somehow.
Stirfried glass noodles with vegetables. This was inspired by jap chae, but I hesitate to actually call it jap chae, since it was a bit of a hodgepodge really. I stirfried some sliced onion, ginger-and-garlic paste, sliced red peppers, soaked sliced wood ear fungus (木耳/mù ěr), sliced pak choy stems, and sliced chicory, then added some cooked glass noodles (粉絲/fěn sī), a few spoonfuls of vegan soy sauce concentrate and a good slosh of sesame oil, and mixed it around until the flavourings were well-blended. Turned out pretty tasty.
Saturday dinner: Fish and rice
My kitchen sink works again!
Baked spiced mackerel. Roughly following this marinade but using whole mackerel instead of fillets, and baking instead of grilling (18 minutes at 200˚C).
Served with plain basmati rice done in the rice cooker.