Pan-fried mackerel with salsa

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

My grandfather knew a thing or two about growing tomatoes, and now when summer comes round I can't help but wish I still had access to the secrets of his greenhouse; a few of his firm but tasty tomatoes would make a magnificent salsa for my freshly caught mackerel.

Grandma used to butterfly the mackerel, as I've done here, but she wasn't too meticulous about removing the bones. She would always flour them, which I've also done here, but I've added a little spice to the flour which I'm sure she would have approved of.

You could get your fishmonger to butterfly them for you or simply remove the heads and split them either side of the back bone with a sharp knife and remove the bones or leave them.

4 medium or 8 small mackerel, heads off
2tbsp plain flour
2tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground paprika
2tsp flaky sea salt
2tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2tbsp vegetable or corn oil

For the salsa

4 spring onions, cleaned, halved lengthways and finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
4 firm red tomatoes, finely chopped
tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
2tbsp olive oil
1tbsp chopped coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper

First make the salsa by mixing all of the ingredients together and seasoning to taste then leave to stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix the flour with the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper then coat the mackerel on both sides, patting off any excess with your hands. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the mackerel, skin side down first, on a high heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side, making sure the skin is nice and crisp. Serve on warmed plates with the salsa spooned around.

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