Mackerel tartare with crisp quails’ eggs, prosciutto crisps and green apple vinaigrette

Get your fishmonger to prepare a really fresh mackerel for this classic combination of cucumber, horseradish and smoked fish.

Equipment and preparation: you will need a vacuum pack machine.


For the marinated cucumber
For the horseradish cream
For the green apple vinaigrette
For the mackerel tartare
  • 1 banana shallot, finely chopped

  • 15ml/½fl oz pomace oil

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, core removed, finely chopped

  • ½ bunch dill

  • 100g/3½oz smoked mackerel, skin removed, cut into 0.5cm/¼in dice

  • 1 very fresh whole mackerel, gutted, filleted, pin boned and skin removed, diced

For the prosciutto crisp
For the crispy poached quails’ eggs
To serve
  • 1 frisée endive, dark outer leaves discarded, cut into 5cm/2in pieces

  • 1 punnet mustard frills

Preparation method

  1. For the marinated cucumber, mix together the honey, rapeseed oil, Dijon mustard, and salt.

  2. Place the cucumber in a vacuum pack bag and pack very tightly. Then place in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.

  3. Remove the cucumber from the bag and cut it into a 1cm/½in dice. Add it to the honey dressing and set aside until ready to serve.

  4. For the horseradish cream, add the grated horseradish and the soured cream to a food processor and blend to a purée. Pass through a fine sieve, season with salt and pepper and set aside in the fridge until needed.

  5. For the green apple vinaigrette, mix the apple and lime juice, honey, Dijon mustard and pomace oil and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Then set aside until needed.

  6. For the mackerel tartare, gently fry the shallot in the pomace oil until softened, without colouring.

  7. Remove from the heat and mix in a bowl with the green apple and dill. Set aside in the fridge to cool.

  8. Mix the smoked and fresh mackerel with the cooled apple and shallot, season to taste with about 30ml/1½fl oz of the green apple vinaigrette and some salt and pepper. Set aside in the fridge until needed.

  9. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F/Gas 3.

  10. For the prosciutto crisp, line a baking tray with parchment paper and brush with a little pomace oil.

  11. Then place the prosciutto on the paper and finish with another sheet of parchment paper.

  12. Place another baking tray on top and cook in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until crisp. Then remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack.

  13. Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180C/350F.

  14. For the crisp poached quails’ eggs, poach the quails’ eggs for 90 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

  15. Place the flour and beaten egg into separate bowls. Stir together the parmesan and panko breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Dip the poached eggs into flour, egg, then breadcrumbs.

  16. Deep-fry the breaded eggs for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Season with salt and pepper.

  17. To serve, dress each serving plate with a swipe of the horseradish cream. Add two quenelles of the mackerel tartare and a quails’ egg. Remove the cucumber from the marinade and spoon around the plate. Then add the prosciutto crisp.

  18. Dress the frisée in a little of the apple dressing. Garnish the plate with the frisée and mustard frills. Pour the remaining dressing in a jug and serve on the side.

1-2 hours preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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