Chef shares his passion for seafood
Cornwall-based chef Nathan Outlaw is fast becoming a household name thanks to recent appearances in the South West heats of BBC2's Great British Menu.
Outlaw has two Michelin stars for his eponymous fish restaurant in Rock, Cornwall, and is one of the most exciting chefs in Britain today. British seafood is his passion and his style of cooking is unique and simple, allowing the individual flavours of seasonal ingredients to shine through.
This month sees the release of Outlaw's first cookbook, British Seafood, a collection of delicious recipes that begins with a guide to sourcing and buying, followed by a step-by-step guide to preparing all types of fish and shellfish.
Outlaw explains cooking techniques, showing how to pan-fry, grill, bake, steam, barbecue and deep-fry fish to perfection. The core of the book is divided into the four main groups: flat, round, oily and shellfish, and within this section 30 fish are dealt with individually.
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In all there are over 100 recipes, all easy to replicate at home, including this delicious mackerel recipe that's perfect for those sunny days when you fire up the barbecue.
Nathan Outlaw's British Seafood is published by Quadrille, £25.
4 large or 8 small mackerel, gutted
light rapeseed oil for cooking
Cornish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
4 raw beetroot, washed and peeled
4 Granny Smith apples
50ml white wine vinegar
2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
3 pickled walnuts (optional)
2 tsp chopped chives
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 large baguette, sliced
Early beetroot appear as the first mackerel of the year are caught, so it makes sense to serve them together.
The charred skin and moist, rich mackerel flesh marry perfectly with beetroot – and apple brings a crisp, sharp taste to cut the richness.
When barbecuing fish, light your barbecue well in advance and make sure your coals are at the white hot stage.
To make the beetroot and apple salad, slice the beetroot across into fine slices, then cut across the slices to give you julienne (matchsticks). Peel and core the apples and similarly cut into julienne.
Toss the apples and beetroot in a bowl with the wine vinegar, shallots, chopped pickled walnuts (if using), and chives. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as required.
Wash the mackerel and pat dry with kitchen paper. Oil the fish (but not too much or it will be engulfed in flames and burn) and season all over with salt and pepper. Place the fish on the barbecue and cook, without moving, for five minutes. Now turn the fish over (if it has stuck, then leave it for another minute before turning). Barbecue for four minutes on the other side until the flesh inside the cavity is opaque all the way through.
Carefully lift the fish from the barbecue on to plates. Serve straight away, with the beetroot and apple salad and lemon wedges. Accompany with plenty of bread for mopping up the juices.