I absolutely love mackerel and since our fishmonger does not stock it over the winter, I've had to get my fix by eating it smoked. I love smoked mackerel pate, but the littlies do not, even when I tell them that it's good brain food. They do however tolerate smoked mackerel when I serve it up with a lemon risotto, which, to be honest, is no hardship.
Prepare yourself for an explosion of flavours when you first taste lemon risotto. The mind boggles as to how so few ingredients can create something so delicious. I make this at the weekend, when it's cold outside, and we're all in need of some comfort food. Follow up with a sticky pud!
25 ml butter (+ 25ml butter to finish)
15 ml olive oil
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 large carrot, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
300g arborio or carnaroli rice
125 ml marsala wine
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock, warmed
1 lemon (separate zest and juice)
2 fillets of peppered smoked mackerel, flaked
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Melt butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add olive oil to stop burning.
2. Add onion, carrot and garlic and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the risotto rice and stir continuously for 3 minutes to coat with the oils.
4. Add the marsala and allow the alcohol to burn off for about 3 minutes, stir to prevent sticking.
5. Add a ladle full of stock and stir continuously until all the stock has been absorbed by the rice.
6. Repeat until all the stock has been added to the risotto. This should take about 20min.
7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
8. Take off the heat. Add the lemon zest and juice, butter and parmesan and beat vigorously until all the butter has been melted.
9. Cover the pot with a lid and leave for 5-10 minutes.
10. Serve on warmed plates with the smoked mackerel sprinkled generously over the top.