Donal Skehan

Mediterranean Mackerel with a Tomato Panzanella Salad

Mackerel instantly reminds me of eating outside in the summer at BBQ’s on Ireland’s Eye with my grandad and all my cousins. Fried or BBQ’d with meditteranean flavours it goes beautifully with an Italian panzanella salad, which is packed with great tastes and textures.

Serves 4
4 Mackerel Fillets
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 loaf of ciabatta bread, torn into rough pieces
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
150g of sunblush tomatoes
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
A good handful of basil, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200oC.

Toss the bread chunks in a roasting tray with a generous drizzle of olive oil.ย  Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and then place in the oven until toasted and golden for about 8 minutes.ย  Give them a good toss half way through.ย  Remove from the oven and feed with an extra drizzle of olive oil.

In a large bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, and garlic and then add in the onion, cherry tomatoes, sunblush tomatoes, toasted bread and toss until completely coated.ย  Leave to soak up the dressing while you get on with the fish.

Place the mackerel on a plate and drizzle with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and a little of the dried oregano.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat and then place the mackerel flesh side down for 2-3 minutes, then turn over squeeze over lemon juice and cook for further 2-3 minutes.

Serve straight away alongside the panzanella salad.


Continue reading >>

Simple Mackerel Fillets with Chilli, Garlic and Lemon

I grew up on mackerel! It was and still is one of the easiest fish to catch just off Howth head. I have some of the most amazing childhood memories of sunny mackerel filled summers with my granddad Do on his boat, where my cousins and I would be busy racing to pull in rods with heavy lines, fish on each hook, while my granddad would gut them and fillet them like the pro he was, belly laughing at the fact that we were all to squeamish to take them off the lines ourselves. For me, mackerel dishes always have to be simple with really fresh flavours, and I love this quick and simple lunch which has a great kick of heat thanks to the chilli. People get a bit worried when it comes to cooking fish, but go to the fishmongers and ask them to do all the hard work and you will be left really lovely fillets of fish which are no more complicated to cook than pan frying a chicken breast!

Serves 4
4-6 mackerel fillets
2 red chillies, finely chopped with the seeds removed
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
A good drizzle of olive oil
A good pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper

Place the mackerel fillets on a large plate and drizzle with olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice.ย  Don’t use all the lemon juice here, as it’s nice to give the fish an extra squeeze of lemon while it cooks and then at the end to serve.

Sprinkle over the chilli and garlic and gently rub into the fish on both sides, turning to coat in the lemon and olive oil.

Season the fillets with sea salt and black pepper and cook on a hot, non stick griddle pan, over a high heat, for 2-3 minutes either side, depending on their size or until they are cooked through.ย  Halfway through the cooking time, give them another splash of lemon juice.

Serve the mackerel fillets with a spicy tomato salsa or a fresh side salad for a really light and healthy lunch!

Continue reading >>

BBQ Mackerel with lemon and Smoked Sea Salt

There are so many things that you can do with fish on a barbecue, but sometimes its nice to keep things simple, a few herbs, maybe some garlic butter or just plain lemon and salt will bring the natural flavours alive. If you are freezing mackerel, freeze the same day you get it, make sure to use within 3 months, and defrost in the fridge. You may notice a change in the texture of the fish but it shouldn’t be too significant.

Serves 4
4-8 gutted mackerel per person, depending on size
A drizzle of olive oil
2 lemons
A good pinch of smoked sea salt
A good pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Tin foil to cover the mackerel

Wrap the mackerel individually in tinfoil, and place on a hot barbecue.

Cook for 4-5 minutes either side, it’s a bit of a guessing game but open the tinfoil to check if the fish is cooked through.

Take the wrapped fish off the barbecue and remove the tinfoil.

Place the fish on a large serving dish and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Generously squeeze lemon juice over the fish, and season with smoked sea salt and black pepper.

Serve straight away!

Continue reading >>