Alex Dilling

Recipe: Alex Dilling’s Mackerel Escabeche

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Try your hand at this French-inspired dish

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Alex Dilling, former executive chef of The Greenhouse in Mayfair, is doing a two-week residency at Carousel with his new concept Passager – a term which loosely translates from French as ‘here for a good time, not a long time’. Here he shares a recipe with C&TH to give us a taste of his cooking ahead of the pop-up.

Recipe: Alex Dilling’s Mackerel Escabeche

Ingredients

Mackerel

  • 2 ea mackerel
  • 120g rice vingegar
  • 60g water
  • 60g white wine
  • 2g coriander seeds
  • 2g cumin seeds
  • 2g salt
  • 60g sugar

Vadouvan Cream

  • 40g creme fraiche
  • 100g whipping cream
  • 4g vadouvan
  • 1g salt

Pickled Carrots

  • 1pc orange carrot
  • 1pc yellow carrot
  • 1pc purple carrot
  • 150g water
  • 100g rice vinegar
  • 2g fennel seed
  • 2g coriander seed
  • 5g salt
  • 38g sugar

Fennel Juice

  • 1/2pc fennel
  • 2pc small granny smith apples
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 pinch of salt

Croutons

  • 1 slice of country bread (use sour dough or toast as alternative)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Garnish

  • Coriander hiffonade
  • Fleur de sel
  • Olive oil

Method

Mackerel

  1. Lightly toast the spices in a pan on low heat, after add the water, rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir the pickling liquid until the salt and sugar has dissolved but do not boil it. Let the pickling liquid sit in the fridge for two days for an optimal result, after pass it trough a strainer to remove the spices.
  2. Place the deboned mackerel fillets in a bowl and pour over the cold pickling liquid. Cover the surface with clingfilm to ensure the mackerel is fully in the pickling liquid. Let the mackerel cure for at least 5 hours depending on the thickness of the fillets. Slightly dab the mackerel on a kitchen paper just before serving.

Vadouvan Cream

Whip the creme fraiche and whipping cream together in a bowl with a whisk until it. Season the cream with salt and vadouvan, place the vadouvan cream back into the fridge until serving.

Pickled Carrots

  1. Lightly toast the spices in a pan on low heat, after add the water, rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Stir the pickling liquid until the salt and sugar has dissolved but do not boil it. Let the pickling liquid sit in the fridge for two days for an optimal result, after pass it trough a strainer to remove the spices.
  2. Cut all three carrots very thin on a mandolin if possible, then cut them in your desired shape. Put half of each carrot shavings on the side in separate bowls and pour hot pickling liquid over it. Do not mix the different colours together. Keep the rest of the carrot shavings in cold water.

Fennel Juice

Remove the fennel stalk and the core of the apples. Cut them into pieces and place them in a juicer, alternatively you could use a high speed blender and pass the liquid trough a fine strainer. Season the fennel juice with a pinch of salt and lime juice to maintain a vibrant green colour.

Croutons

Remove the crust of the bread and cut it into small dices. Add the bread cubes together with the oil into a pan and fry them on medium heat until they are evenly golden brown. Drain the croutons from the leftover oil and place them on a kitchen towel. Season the croutons with salt while they are still hot.

Plating

Cut each mackerel fillet into 7-9 slices and place them on a plate. Add the vadouvan cream on top of the mackerel and sprinkle coriander chiffonade and croutons on top. Garnish the mackerel with pickled and fresh carrot shavings. Season the dish with fleur de sel and olive oil. Pour the fennel juice on the side of the mackerel and serve it.

MORE RECIPES:

Smoked Herring, Clams and Heritage Carrots / Goat’s Cheese and Fennel Jam Galette

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