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Chefs Recipe: Cured Mackerel with Avocado and Pickled Cucumber, by Douglas Balish
Created by Michelin-starred Head Chef Douglas Balish, this beautifully elegant dish is available to enjoy in The Tudor Room at Great Fosters or, for the skilled amongst you, is a delightful dish to wow your guests with when entertaining.
This is a great starter when you can get hold of the freshest mackerel available. This recipe can be made the day before.
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200g Maldon salt
4 limes ( juice and zest )
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
2 limes ( juice only )
15g chardonnay vinegar
1 x cucumber deseeded
extra cucumber skins from pickled cucumber
100g olive oil
xanthan gum (optional)
red shiso leaves
sliced raw fennel
You can buy mackerel fillets with the pin bones removed already to make this easier. Blend the mackerel cure into a smooth paste then cover evenly around the fillets. Leave this for 6 hours then gently wash in a container of cold water.
The avocado puree can be made up to 24 hours in advance, add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth and thick. You can add more creme fraiche to loosen the mixture if it becomes too thick. Cucumber dressing, peel the cucumbers for the pickle and dressing and deseed the inside of the remaining cucumber. Bring the cucumber skins to the boil and remove from the water. Blend the skins with the oil until smooth then pass through a sieve. You can add xanthan gum when blending if you wish to have a thicker dressing or add some of the cucumber skin water to make a thinner dressing. To pickle the cucumber, peel and cut into batons or any shape that suits, add the other ingredients and leave for at least 12 hours.
To finish the dish slice the mackerel into strips and if you want to add an extra touch then blowtorch the skin to give an amazing charred crust to the fish whilst semi cooking it. In the Tudor Room, we garnish the fish with caviar, red shiso, dill and some raw baby fennel but any variation would work.
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