Pan-Fried Cornish mackerel with Puy lentils and artichoke purée

11 September 2006
Pan-Fried Cornish mackerel with Puy lentils and artichoke purée

(Serves 2)

1 globe artichoke
Chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Pancetta trimmings
3 garlic cloves
1 carrot, cut into 4
1 onion, cut into ¼, leaving root on
100g Puy lentils
Chicken stock
1 large mackerel, filleted and cleaned
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lemon


Break off the artichoke stalk, cut off the leaves about 4cm from base. Trim any remaining outer leaves. Spoon out the wispy choke and discard. Dice into 4cm cubes. Put in a pan with chicken stock and cook until soft and stock has reduced. Blend in a food processor with a little cream until smooth. Pass through a sieve to remove any stray artichoke hairs. Season and set aside.

Caramelise onion, carrot, garlic and pancetta in a heavy bottomed pan until golden brown. Add Puy lentils and then cover with chicken stock. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are soft. Do not boil, otherwise lentils will split.

Score the skin on the mackerel from belly to fin at 5cm-spaced incisions. Heat 2 tbsp oil in non-stick pan. Place mackerel skin side down and cook until crisp, usually about 3-4 minutes. Turn over, add a knob of butter and a drop of lemon juice and spoon over the fish. Place on kitchen paper. Arrange 2 tbsp of lentils in the centre of each plate. Spoon the warmed artichoke puree either side and drag to get the desired teardrop effect.

Place the mackerel on top of the lentils, add a spoonful of the butter from the pan over the mackerel and serve.

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