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Monthly Archives: March 2012

  • Mackerel sweet-and-sour by Valentine Warner

    This months recipe is brought to us courtesy of the hugely talented Valentine Warner who trained as a portrait painter before putting down the brush to pick up the spoon. He worked in London restaurants for 8 years under such chefs as Alastair Little and Rose Carrarini before setting up his own catering company, Green Pea. Valentine’s TV work includes 2 series for BBC2 What To Eat Now (a seasonal cooking guide round our isles) - accompanied by 2 books of the same name and he has recently filmed Ration Book Britain for the Yesterday channel. Valentine’s third book The Good Table is due to be published in September 2011. A passionate cook, he believes that a real understanding of ingredients, the people involved and all relevant natural history contributes as much to the plate as the actual cooking itself. A very keen outdoors man, when not in the kitchen, he will be out with a basket or more probably a fishing-rod. He has contributes to The Times, The Observer, The Telegraph, The Mail and writes regularly for delicious and Country File magazines. Valentine lives in West London with his wife & daughter. www.valentinewarner.com

    Mackerel sweet-and-sour

    Serves 2–4

    2 very fresh whole medium mackerel, gutted, filleted and pin-boned
    2 tablespoons cornflour
    ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
    3 tablespoons sunflower oil
    boiled or egg-fried white rice, to serve

    Sweet-and-sour sauce
    2 large spring onions
    2 tablespoons sunflower oil
    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
    1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
    3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
    1½ teaspoons nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
    100ml cold water
    200g pineapple (weight after being peeled and cored), cut
    into mouth-sized chunks
    1 finger-length dried red chile, deseeded and chopped into 3
    1 teaspoon cornflour
    black pepper

    With so many mackerel coming into my kitchen over the summer and autumn, I’m endlessly trying to think of new ways to enjoy them. I could write a book on mackerel recipes alone. I didn’t think of sweet-and-sour until recently, and now I like it so much I have not tried anything else new for a while.
    To make the sauce, slice the white part of the spring onions lengthways into quarters. Cut the quarters in half across the middle. Cut the green parts lengthways into strands and set aside. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok until very hot. Add the white part of the onions, the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat and stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, tomato ketchup, fish sauce and the cold water. Cook for a few seconds, stirring, until the sauce is well combined, then add the pineapple and chile. Cook for 3–4 minutes until the pineapple is softened and the sauce is hot. Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon cold water and stir into the sauce. Cook until
    thickened and glossy and season with plenty of black pepper. Cut each fish fillet into three pieces and toss with the cornflour and salt on a plate until evenly coated. Pour the oil into a small, nonstick frying pan or wok and put over a high heat. When the oil is hot, drop the floured fish pieces into the pan using tongs and regulate the heat so as not to burn them. Fry hard for about 2 minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Do this in batches and keep the cooked fish in a warm oven. Reheat the sweet-and-sour sauce until bubbling, then spoon it into warmed dishes and place the hot fish on top. Scatter the chopped green spring onion on top. Serve immediately with steamed or egg-fried rice.

    This post was posted in Recipes

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Contact Kate

Gower Cottage Brownies Ltd
The Brownie Barns

Tel: 01792 390011

Email: kate@gowercottagebrownies.co.uk

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