Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Caribbean Style Pan Fried Mackerel with Fried Plantains

Jamaican cuisine has a dish called the Jamaican Run Down in which steamed Mackerel is served in a spicy coconut sauce.  This Caribbean style dish is inspired by the Run Down, but I wanted to create a pan fried version. Instead of using the traditional coconut milk, I decided to use the flavorful coconut oil to both fry the fish and use in the dressing.  The result is a dish of pan fried mackerel dressed with tomatoes paired with onions, garlic, ginger and the spices of paprika, cumin, all spice and scotch bonnet pepper.  I also included fried plantains to round out the meal.

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes


3 Plantains - very ripe
Vegetable Oil
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 lb. Mackerel Fillets with skin (about 4)
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Medium Red Onion chopped
1 Habanero Pepper or Scotch Bonnet chopped
2 Teaspoons Paprika
1 Teaspoon All Spice
1 Teaspoon Cumin
4 Garlic Cloves minced
1 inch Ginger minced
3 Roma Tomatoes chopped
3 Scallions chopped

Peel the plantains and slice the fruit in half lengthwise. Then slice in half again through its width.  Fill a small skillet to about 1/2 inch deep of vegetable oil.  Place skillet over a medium high heat.  When the oil is hot and shimmering begin frying the plantains in batches.  The plantain should turn a golden brown color when fully cooked (about 2 minutes on each side).  Set the fried plantain aside.

Season the Mackerel fillets  with salt and freshly ground pepper.  In a large clean skillet place the coconut oil over high heat.  When the oil is hot and shimmering, place the Mackerel fillets skin side down onto the pan (cook in batches if necessary).  Let Mackerel cook for about 4 minutes on the skin. Flip the fillets over to cook for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute on the meat.   Transfer the Mackerel fillets to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet toss in the onions and the Habanero pepper and sauté until soft (about 4 minutes).  Add the Paprika, All Spice, Cumin, ginger and garlic to the pan and sauté for another minute.  Add the tomatoes to the pan and continue to sauté for an additional 3 minutes.  Sprinkle the chopped scallions over the dressing, remove from heat and set aside.

To serve, place fried plantains on the plates.  Stack the pan fried Mackerel over the plantains and spoon over the spicy tomato dressing over the fish fillets.  Enjoy.

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