Phil Fanning's mackerel recipe has a beautiful combination of bright, summery flavours such as fennel, spiced yoghurt, focaccia crumbs and moutabal - better known as baba ganoush. Placing the mackerel in a cold pan and gradually bringing up the heat allows the fat to render down properly, ensuring extra crispy skin.
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The day before serving, start preparing the moutabal and hang the yoghurt. For the moutabal, score the skin of the aubergine a couple of times from top to bottom and place under a hot grill. Keep turning periodically under the heat until the skin has blackened on all sides and the flesh inside has softened
2 medium aubergines
Allow to cool then scrape the pulp out of the skins. Hang the aubergine pulp in a double muslin cloth overnight to allow the liquid to drain away. At the same time, transfer the yoghurt to a muslin cloth and allow to hang overnight alongside the aubergine
150g of Greek yoghurt
The next day, finish the moutabal by adding the aubergine pulp to a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blitz until smooth, then set aside in the fridge. Add the hung yoghurt to a bowl and mix through the cumin, caraway, paprika and pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
8g of tahini
1 pinch of salt
20g of créme fraiche
1 pinch of cumin powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp caraway seeds, powdered
To prepare the fennel, slice the fennel finely on a mandoline, add to a bowl and marinate with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt to taste. Set aside for 1 hour
1 bulb of fennel
Peel the peppers, remove the seeds and cut into 0.5 cm wide strips. Place into a small pan, cover with the olive oil and thyme, season with salt and pepper then bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 1 minute then allow to cool in the oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 sprig of thyme
200ml of olive oil
For the focaccia crumb, combine the butter and oil in a pan and place over a medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the breadcrumbs and cook, keeping the breadcrumbs moving until golden and crispy
1 loaf of focaccia, blitzed into breadcrumbs
100g of butter
50g of olive oil
Add the chopped herbs and salt then pour into a sieve to drain the fat. Transfer to some paper towel and leave in a warm place, changing the paper a couple of times to remove as much fat as possible. Allow to cool
2g of rosemary leaves, chopped
2g of thyme leaves, chopped
Sprinkle a little salt over the skin of the mackerel and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Pat dry when ready to cook
6 mackerel fillets
Arrange the moutabal, yoghurt, fennel, breadcrumbs, chive flowers and peppers on the plate before cooking the mackerel
20 chive flowers
To cook the mackerel, place it skin-side down in a cool non-stick pan, bringing up the heat gradually until the skin is crisp. Flip over, quickly seal on the other side and season with lemon juice. Place each mackerel fillet on top of a mound of the fennel and peppers and serve immediately
juice of half a lemon
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