We are lucky to live by the sea, and we really enjoy all the pleasure it brings. The beautiful fresh air, the views, the constantly changing shore that each tide brings. However, despite the close proximity, we have never been brave enough to fish for our supper. A rather pathetic confession I know, but the thought of killing the poor little fishes, makes us squeamish and sad.
I’m afraid it’s worse than that, because we’re perfectly happy to tuck-in to fish from the fishmonger any night of the week. It’s just the thought of actually taking responsibility for the dastardly deed that makes it a struggle, which let’s face it just boils down to hypocrisy. So we decided that enough was enough, it was time to face our demons.
We’ve had some lovely calm September seas tempting us over the last few days, and the lure of the gentle lapping waves coupled with the possibility of the Freshest Mackerel Ever was too much to resist.
Cooking and eating fish on the day that it is caught is a completely different experience to that of the shop bought kind. It smells as fresh as the sea, and feels firm and succulent. Fish this fresh needs a very light touch, once thoroughly gutted and rinsed, all they need is a minimal approach. Stuff them with some lemon wedges, a slice garlic clove and parsley sprigs, drizzle with olive oil and loosely wrap in little foil parcels. Make sure that the edges are well pinched and sealed together, to stop the steam and juices escaping.
The perfect way to cook them would be on the barbecue, but failing that, bake them quickly in a medium hot oven for around 20 mins, depending on the size of the fish. If you’re not sure, take a little peak and the flesh should be soft and come away from the bone easily. When you taste it, the texture and flavour is so soft and sweet, without any of the lasting fishiness that often hangs around and puts some people off. It tastes just like the sea – which must be good for you.