by Peter Coucquyt
on July 20, 2016

Cured Mackerel and Cherries with Green Apple – Majii Leaf vinaigrette

It's summertime and as horse mackerel make their way up towards the North Sea, baskets of bright red cherries can be found lining the tables and shelves of our local markets. To make the most of this seasonal bounty, we've created this light, fruity appetizer.

Cherries...and Mackerel?

Cherries and mackerel are ingredients you ordinarily wouldn't pair together, but our Foodpairing® analysis reveals that the two share similar fresh, green (cucumber-like) aromas. Cherries are also characterized by other predominantly fruity aromas and offer a sweet, tart contrast to the fatty mouth feel of horse mackerel.

http://blog-assets.foodpairing.com/2016/07/FP-Cherry-Mackerel-ingredient-tree.png

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Cured Mackerel and Cherries with Green Apple - Majii Leaf vinaigrette (serves 4)

Cured Mackerel

ingredients

  • 4 mackerel fillets
  • coarse sea salt, to taste

preparations

Descale the mackerel and remove the skins from the fillets. Rinse lightly and pat dry.

Next, lay the mackerel fillets down on a bed of coarse sea salt. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and allow to cure for 30 minutes. Then rinse the fillets with cold water and pat dry. Cut the mackerel into strips of desired width.

Yuzu Gel

ingredients

  • 35 g freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 25 g freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 50 g freshly squeezed yuzu juice
  • 50 g simple syrup
  • 2 g Citras powder
  • 1.6 g agar powder

preparations

As with any recipe, it's important to include contrasting tastes and textures. Therefore, we add yuzu juice to enhance the sour, tartness of the cherries and help cut the fattiness of the mackerel. Yuzu are highly aromatic and share certain citrus (orange) scents in common with cherries.

To create Yuzu Gel, mix yuzu juice with freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices in a saucepan and add a simple syrup to counter-balance the acidity. Bring the mixture to a boil. Pour the mixture onto a plate and allow to gel, then mix for a smooth texture.

Green Apple - Majii Leaf vinaigrette

ingredients

  • 50 g Granny Smith apples, peeled
  • 75 g Majii Leaves® + extra for garnish
  • 50 g water
  • 5 g Japanese rice wine vinegar
  • 30 g extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste

preparations

The teardrop-shaped Majii leaves of the North African succulent are great for infusing flavor into and are best when paired with sweet-and-sour ingredients, such as Granny Smith apples. Granny Smith apples and Majii Leaves® also share fruity aromatic links.

To make the vinaigrette, we simply whisk the resulting juice together with olive oil and a touch of vinegar, until it turns into an emulsion. Just slice the Granny Smith apples and the Majii Leaves into pieces and transfer to a blender. Add water and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture. into a bowl, then whisk in the rice wine vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt, to taste.

Assembly

  • Cured Mackerel (recipe above)
  • Green Apple - Majii Leaf® vinaigrette (recipe above)
  • Yuzu Gel (recipe above)
  • 4 fresh cherries, pitted
  • 1 Majii Leaf®, sliced into thin slivers

Cut each of the cherries into 6 small wedges and set aside. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette onto a plate and arrange the strips of mackerel. Add a few dots of the yuzu gel to the plate. Finally, garnish each piece of mackerel with one slice of cherry and a thin sliver of Majii Leaf.

by Peter Coucquyt
A former Michelin-starred chef, Peter applies his culinary expertise to the science of Foodpairing®, infusing the sensory experiences of aroma, taste and texture into every one of his creations.

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