Another Friday night at the grill, and exactly what I needed after a long week. I was exhausted, and kept things simple this time: only a handful of ingredients, and a flame were needed. As always, you can sub in another type of fish for the Mackerel, but you’d be missing out. I’ve only been cooking white fish like tilapia lately, so I “forgot” how much I missed the stronger flavor.
I was going for an Eastern-mediterranean profile here, so sumac was the main spice, plus a supporting cast of basil, and fennel. This is one of those easy days when I toss the same spices on everything, since mackerel and eggplant have such distinct flavors.
Dani really liked this one — and even said the plating reminded her of the food a Noma– that ridiculous (awesome) Danish restaurant with a 2-year waitlist. Maybe I just saved us a trip…
2-4 Mackerel Filets
1 Eggplant, cubed
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 Cup Fennel Fronds
1/2 Cup Basil
4 Sprigs of Lemon Thyme
1/4 Cup Sesame Seeds
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Sumac
1 Tbs Coriander
1 Tbs Onion Powder
1 Tbs Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
*Optional: Applewood Chunks soaked overnight (for smoking)
1. Place filets on paper towels to dry, and check for residual bones. Season with salt, pepper, coriander, and sumac.
2. Preheat the grill to med-high, then wrap the wood chunks in foil, and puncture. Place on the grill, and wait for smoke to appear. Place fish on the grill skin-side down, brush with lemon juice, then close the grill.
3. Cook for at least 20 minutes, check the fish. If fully cooked, remove from grill, and set aside (skin-side up). Otherwise; rotate slightly, and cook for an additional five minutes.
4. Place the eggplant, garlic, basil, lemon thyme, and olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Drizzle with olive oil, then season like the fish. Place the skillet on the grill sauté until tender. Add herbs, and sesame seeds, then *carefully* remove from the grill.
5. Plate and serve.
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