Maquereaux au Vin Blanc ~ Mackerel in White Wine
is a speciality of North-Western France. Those who trawl fish round the Brittany and Calvados coastlines frequently pull in more mackerel than they can use and, in the beautiful harbour at Honfleur
, I have experienced exquisite Maquereaux au Vin Blanc ~ Mackerel in White Wine
, served early in the morning and washed down with a glass of
By and large, Americans are not used to fish that stare back. While cooking whole fish has many advantages (they are not as fragile as fillets and the skin protects the flesh from drying out) I have opted to use filleted fish for this recipe, but be sure to leave the skin on. They will then look spectacular on the plate and you'll feel like you're eating something luxurious as well as virtuous. Always choose small mackerel since the flesh is so much more tender.
How to make Maquereaux au Vin Blanc ~ Mackerel in White Wine:
Peel the onion and cut in two. From the centre, cut 5-6 very
thin slices and set aside. Slice the rest of the onion at normal thickness. Cut the lemon in half and put one half in the fridge for another day. From the centre of the remaining half, cut 6-8 very
thin slices and set aside. Remove the rind from the remaining piece of lemon. Peel the carrot, cut 12-15 very
thin slices on the diagonal and set aside (you can eat the rest of the carrot raw - it's good for you!!)
Put the wine, water, onion, fennel, lemon rind, peppercorns, bay leaves and a pinch of salt in a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool, then strain.
Add the thinly sliced carrot and thinly sliced onion and gently poach the mackerel fillets in this liquid for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool, then strain, reserving half the stock.
Arrange the fish on a serving dish. Mix the reserved stock with the mustard and spoon over the fish. Chill before serving and garnish with parsley and the thinly cut lemon slices. Serve with thick slices of wholemeal bread and a good dry white wine (Chablis or similar).
Serve Maquereaux au Vin Blanc ~ Mackerel in White Wine as a starter, a main course or just a snack. If you serve it as a main course, you may wish to double the number of fillets you use, so each person gets two.