Smoked Mackerel, slow-cooked grapes, Parsnip puree, lemon thyme, asparagus

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For today’s lunch i wanted something smokey and something sweet and this is what i came up with. The combination of fish and grapes is nothing new, sole and grapes ‘Sole Véronique’ is another amazing dish i have cooked in the kitchen at work.

I took the inspiration for this dish from a recipe by Jose Pizarro in his Spanish flavours cookbook. A book i hugely recommended. It really sums up the buzz around Spanish food which i think we all have at the moment. He served slow cooked grapes with liver.

So, give it a try 🙂

Serves 2

4 Smoked mackerel fillets. (the better the quality, the better the end result. Home smoking some fresh mackerel would be the best, something i will hopefully be writing about soon on Dementhe)
250g seedless grapes (choose a grape you would like a eat, i would recommend i sweet red grape)
2 Parsnips
1 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme
approx 2tbsp of double cream and 2tbsp of whole milk

4 spears of Asparagus, peeled if so well inclined or if they are thick stemmed.

  1. First you need to cook the grapes. Set your oven to gas mark 6. But the grapes in a pan or non stick stick tray and cook for 25 minutes, turning occasionally in case they stick. After 25 minutes turn the oven down to gas mark 1 and cook for an hour.
  2. Peel and chop your parsnips and cook in some boiling salted water until soft. Drain and return to the pan. Add the lemon thyme and salt and pepper. Mash the parsnips and slowly add the milk and cream until you have the consistency you wish. If feeling fancy or working in a restaurant you would pass the puree through muslin or  sieve to make it velvety smooth. Today i didn’t, in some ways the texture is even nicer.
  3. For the asparagus, Snap it, where is brakes should be the right point, or simply chop the bottom off. Cook for a few minutes in hot salty water until under but not soft.
  4. For the mackerel, pre-heat a frying pan and put them straight in, skin side down. You want a nice hot pan and don’t add oil as the mackerel is oily enough. Once hot through, turn for a minute of so.
  5. You now just need to bring everything together, timing is a ever is ever very important.
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