Polenta Crusted Mackerel with Citrus Ratatouille.

Serves 2.

2 mackerel (ask fishmonger to remove head, gut and fillet)
2 handfuls of fine or medium polenta/cornmeal
Quartered baby potatoes
2 handfuls of frozen peas
1 red onion
½ an aubergine
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 lime
2 knobs of butter
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Chuck as many potatoes as you want into a pan of water and boil with a large pinch of salt until tender. Finely slice the onion and fry in a little oil until soft and golden. Add chunks of aubergine, tomatoes, the juice and zest of half a lime, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for around 15 minutes until the aubergine is soft and squishy, stirring occasionally.

If necessary bone the fish and snip off the fins with scissors. Rub all over with the other half lime and push both sides into the polenta so it gets a good layer all over. Warm one knob of butter and a dash of oil in a frying pan until very hot. Cook the mackerel flesh side down for around 3 minutes, then turn over and give it another 2 minutes on the skin side.

While the mackerel is cooking, add peas to the potato pan for 2 minutes, then drain and crush lightly with mustard and a knob of butter using a masher. You’re not trying to make a smooth mash, but a chunky crushed mess. Stack up the elements, starting with potato and pea crush, then fish, then ratatouille.

Mussels in Wine.

Serves 4.

2kg of fresh, live mussels
2 cups of dry white wine
4 large shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon of salt
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Rinse and scrub the mussels under cold water. Remove and discard any that don’t close when tapped. These are dead and will make you ill if you eat them. Using your fingers or a small knife, remove beards - the strings that hang from the mussel shells - and discard them.

In a large saucepan over a medium heat, combine the wine, shallots, garlic and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add mussels, cover and turn up the heat to high. Cook for about 5 minutes until all the mussels are open. Don’t overcook or they will become tough. Discard any that don’t open up as they may be bad.

Stir in the herbs and remove from heat. Divide the mussels and hot soup base between four bowls. Serve immediately with crusty bread or chunky chips.

Recipes by Cassie Kill
Cooking by Freddie Bates
Photos by Sara Hill