Perhaps the phrase “holy mackerel” stems from its nutritional pedigree. Casting your line for a 3 oz (85 g) mackerel serving provides nearly 2.3 g of omega-3s, plus laudable amounts of vitamin D, protein, niacin, and vitamin B12.
Mackerel has a firm flesh with a savoury, strong flavour and rates highly on all of the sustainable seafood websites because it’s quick to spawn and grows rapidly, making it more resilient to fishing pressures. Atlantic Canada mackerel is considered an especially “green” seafood option.
Available at most fish counters, convenient smoked mackerel is a delicious addition to dips and sandwiches. Or try this upgrade of spaghetti and meatballs.
1 lb (450 g) smoked mackerel
2/3 cup (160 mL) bread crumbs
1/4 cup (60 mL) ground flaxseed
2 large free-range eggs
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
1 - 1 lb (450 g) package whole grain spaghetti or linguini
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
5 cups (1.25 L) sliced crimini mushrooms
1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white wine
2 cups (500 mL) halved cherry tomatoes
2 cups (500 mL) flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) red chili flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Separate mackerel flesh from skin and place it in food processor container along with bread crumbs, flaxseed, eggs, shallot, garlic, and mustard. Blend until well combined and coarse mixture forms. Refrigerate mixture for at least 30 minutes so crumbs have a chance to absorb some of the moisture to help with binding.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Form mackerel mixture into 20 to 24 meatballs and place on silicone- or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat; add sliced mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in wine and cook for another 5 minutes or until most of wine has evaporated. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, and parsley to pot with spaghetti.
In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Add to spaghetti and toss to coat. Divide spaghetti among serving plates and top with mackerel meatballs and grated Parmesan.
Each serving contains: 524 calories; 29 g protein; 29 g total fat (7 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 37 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 291 mg sodium
source: "Catch of the Day", alive #364, February 2013
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.