One of my favourite pastimes is reproducing great food with inspiration from restaurant visits. This caramelised mackerel was inspired by the tasting menu at Franceschetta 58 in Modena.
The great thing about mackerel is the smooth skin. Mackerel don’t have scales that need to be scraped off and the skin turns nice and crisp when fried. I became aware of this during a visit to Franceschetta 58 in Modena, where a discreetly caramelised mackerel was served with cucumber cheese rolls and ultra thin slices of watermelon. Unfortunately my cooking technique does not include preserved sliced of watermelon, so I chose to remake the caramelised mackerel with a savoury applesauce instead.
At Franceschetta 58 the caramelised mackerel was served as a starter, but you can double the measures and use it as a main course instead.
For the applesauce
For the caramelised mackerel
Fillets from 1 mackerell
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Ask you fishmonger to cut the mackerel in 2 fillets.
Slice each fillet down the middle so that you have four small pieces of fish.
Cut the apples in halves, remove the core and the stem, place a sprig of thyme in the middle, rejoin the two halves and wrap each apple in tin foil.
Bake the apples at 170 C / 340 F for about 20 minutes (they’ll start to sprout mashed apple, if you leave them too long)
Let the apples cool, remove the foil and scrape out the meat to make applesauce.
Adjust the taste with salt, pepper and thyme.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
Sprinkle the skin side of each mackerel fillet with a little sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.
Fry the fish fillet over slow heat with the skin side down.
After about 5 minutes the fish meat will have changed colour and be ready to eat.
Arrange the caramelised mackerel on a plate with applesauce and a drops of parsley blended in olive oil.