A local diet throws up some unexpected dilemmas and food issues. Vegetarianism, veganism, less so freeganism aren’t easy to do on the Fife Diet. You can’t nip in to Sainsbury for a Brazilian Nut-Burger and hold your head up high.
Historically Fife is the source of great seafood and I see no reason not to make use of this great source of protein, provided I abide by those species the Marine Conservation Society “believes are fished within sustainable levels using methods which do not cause unacceptable damage to the environment or non-target species.” These include: Halibut, Herring, and Mackerel. For full list see here.
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are” said French foodie Jean Anthelme Brillet-Savarin, but who are we if we live off imported soya goods? There’s no easy answers. But if the focus of what and why you are eating is about air miles and ecology the issue of vegetarianism or organics becomes much more problematic.
You can argue that Mackerel is best served just lightly grilled with herbs, butter and lemon. Here’s a recipe for it stuffed:
4 Medium sized Mackerel
1 oz Butter PLUS another 2 oz which will be melted
1 small finely chopped onion
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
8 oz Fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper season
1 Small Egg (beaten)
3 tablespoons of flour
Preheat the oven to 375F or gas mark 5. Cut/ Slit the Mackerel from head to tail and gut if required then fillet it (removing the backbone – not as difficult as you think). Rub the fish over with the lemon and salt. Melt 1 oz of butter in a pan and fry the onions until they are on the turn to brown (do NOT completely brown them) allowing to cool. In a seperate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, fried onions and chives, seasoning as requried and bind the mixture with the egg. This is the mixture which will be used to stuff the fish
Melt the other 2 oz of butter, then roll some mixture into the centre of the fish, then roll the Mackerel first in the flour then in the melted butter. Place the fish into an oven proof dish and bake 25 to 30 minutes, basting with the butter if required. This recipe should serve 4 people.