STUFFED MACKEREL WITH QUINOA
Serves - 2 Main course or 4 Entrée course
4 whole mackerel – cleaned of all innards and slit open like a book
1.5 cups (200g) quinoa
2 cloves of garlic
3 piquillo peppers or 1 roasted red pepper chopped
2 teaspoon capers (washed)
1 preserved lemon (washed and seeds removed)
sea salt and pepper for seasoning
A small handful of parsley leaves
To cook the quinoa
Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under a running tap for a few minutes then let drain. Put into a saucepan with a pinch of salt and add 2 times the amount of cold water. Put on the stove with the lid on and bring to the boil then immediately reduce the heat to low and leave to cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and check the water has been absorbed and the grains are soft, stir then leave with the lid on to cool. Once cool season with a little salt to taste.
To make the dressing
Roughly pound the garlic, capers, preserved lemon and parsley leaves into a chunky paste in a mortar and pestle. Add a dash of olive oil and stir to emulsify.
To cook the mackerel
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Mix the cooled quinoa with the dressing and chopped peppers, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Lightly oil the fish inside and out, season lightly with salt and pepper then stuff the cavity with the quinoa mixture. Place on a non-stick baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
Serve hot or let cool and enjoy at room temperature.
Note - When choosing fresh fish make sure it does not smell fishy, it should smell like fish but not overwhelming or pungent, the eyes should not be sunken and the gills a bright attractive colour.