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Sophie's apple, fennel and mackerel
Sophie's apple, fennel and mackerel
added by Hugh's Three Good Things

Guest chef Sophie's apple, fennel and mackerel, taken from Hugh's Three Good Things on More4. Hugh's recognised a simple pattern that underpins so many well-loved dishes – that they are little more or less than three good things on a plate and in this series, he pursues that idea, experimenting with different flavours and textures.

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Prep time
  • 15 mins
Cook Time
  • 2 - 3 mins
  • 2
  • For the salad
  • 1 large fresh mackerel, fillets and de boned
  • 1 coxes apple or a sharp and crisp equivalent
  • 1 bulb fennel plus the fonds
  • For the dressing
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ red chilli, chopped
  • Fennel fonds, chopped
  • ½ tsp runny honey
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp for cooking the fish
  • Salt and pepper
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Start by making your dressing.

Combine the mustard, honey, lemon juice and zest and chopped chilli in a little jar with half of the fennel fonds and a pinch of salt and pepper. Now pour in the oil, place on the lid and shake well until the dressing is emulsified.

Fillet the fish now if this isn’t already done. Remove the bones by cutting either side of the bones in a “V” shape, taking care to not cut through the fish skin or waist too much of the flesh. Simple peel out the row of bones using your fingers.

Spoon a tsp of the dressing over the flesh side of the prepared mackerel fillets and leave to marinade while you make the salad.

One a very fine setting on a mandolin, shave the fennel followed by the apple. This can also be done by hand but i fine you don’t really get the super crunchy fresh effect.

Pour over half of the dressing and mix well. Do this asap to stop the apple and fennel from oxidising and turning brown.

Heat a non stick frying pan with a tbsp of olive oil and fry the fish on the skin side for 2-3 minutes. Try to hold the fish flat in the pan for the first 30 seconds of cooking to prevent the fish curling and an uneven colouring. Once the skin has started to colour, turn off the heat, flip the fish and leave to rest while you assemble your dish.

Pile the salad high on a plate and top with the fish. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and the last of the fennel fonds.

This recipe is one of hundreds of new recipes which can be found in the book which inspired the series, Hugh's Three Good Things.


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