The Cooking Class in Lucca was the penultimate of the season. The last one was in fact directly at our Cooking School in Lucca countryside: Dolce Vita b&b and cooking.
They called me in the Lucca countryside for a cooking class, they were from Sweden and they liked to prepare a dish based on mackerel that it also had Mediterranean perfumes.
Well, what is better than presenting this dish to them? It includes and exalts both their desires.
Why the mackerel?
You won’t believe it but mackerel is a truly delicious fish!
Everyone knows how healthy this fish is, everyone knows that it is rich in omega-3 but few know that it really tastes tasty especially if cooked in the best way.
Mackerel is a fish first of all that it is not endangered. In fact, it is a blue fish belonging to poor cuisine and just for these reasons, it is worth buying and cooking it.
Just think that Slow Food (good, fair, clean food Association) says that eating endangered fish is like committing a crime.
So just to clear up our conscience we know that by eating mackerel we can also contribute to the improvement and protection of the environment.
Mackerel is a fish with a very strong flavor because it contains a lot of fats even if these fats are positive fats.
Tips from the cooking class in Lucca
Therefore, for those like me who cook by profession and run cooking classes by profession, it is absolutely necessary to find a new way to cook mackerel. Sometimes there’s, in fact, an excess of strong flavor. This is what I tried to make for my cooking class in Lucca.
Well, the absolutely best way that I have experimented is exactly what we’re going to make now. 2 simples steps that you have not to forget:
- marinate at least 1-hour
- cook in the pan (the whole mackerel, or mackerel fillet…but don’t use the oven)
Using oranges really turned out to be the most successful way. In fact oranges, thanks to their acidity and their scent really give the mackerel meat an exceptional flavor, difficult to explain.
Then with my customers from the cooking class in Lucca, we marinated the mackerel and followed all the right steps to have a perfect one.
Well, I must say that it was truly a great success. None of them thought they would taste such a fish in this form!
So I immediately included this great recipe in the menu of our private dinners as well.
You must absolutely try this dish because it will surprise you with the flavor that comes out.
What we learned from the cooking class in Lucca
Another very positive side of cooking this fish in this way is that the meat of mackerel is not absolutely stringy hard as sometimes happens when you cook it too much. In fact, thanks to the marinade and cooking in the pan, instead of the oven, it retains its softness and juiciness.
I forgot to tell you that mackerel with orange is really enhanced in terms of flavor if it is accompanied by a fresh salad with fennel, sweet chili, and citrus.
In short, in this way, it will be like bringing a slice of Italy to your tables.
Therefore Buon Appetito and enjoy this great recipe!
- 4 Mackerel (2,7 pound; gr 1200)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin oil
- 2 Oranges zest
- 3 tbsp extra virgin oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp fine salt
- 2 Oranges juice
- 1 tbsp black pepper grains
- Clean the fish by cutting the side fins, cut with the knife the belly, and eviscerate. Rinse the fish under running water.
- Cut the mackerel diagonally on the sides and set it aside.
- This operation does not make the skin of the fish curl too much once it touches the hot pan with oil.
- For the marinade: crush the Peppercorns with a meat pounder or with the back of a spoon.
- Then squeeze the juice of the peeled oranges and slice the garlic.
- Grease with oil a large bowl lay over the mackerels and season them on the surface with other oil, salt, rosemary, and peppercorns, the slices of garlic.
- Wet the fish with half of the orange juice and cover them with cling film. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- After this time, heat a pan with a drizzle of oil and as soon as it is very hot, place the fish and cook them over high heat for 5 minutes without ever touching them (2 minutes in case of fillets).
- Flip them, pour over the remaining orange juice and continue cooking for another 3 minutes (1 minute in case of fillets).
- When the sauce will be reduced, turn off the heat.
- Take off the fish spine (in case you cooked the whole mackerels), sprinkle with orange zest, and serve immediately with also the orange pulp.
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