Thursday, June 9, 2011

RECIPE - Grilled Stuffed Mackerel (Cavala Grelhada e Recheada)

One of the very best ways to cook any fish that is high in fish-oils - those beneficial omega oils - is to cook it over a charcoal or gas grill. Think of grilled salmon or tuna, or if you've ever been to Spain or Portugal those small plates of grilled sardines. There's something about the dry, high heat and the smoke engendered by the oil from the fish dripping onto the heat source that minimizes those strong, "fishy" flavors that some people object to.

This Brazilian recipe for grilled and stuffed cavala (king mackerel) is an excellent way to serve this highly-nutricious and economical fish. When buying mackerel to prepare this way, be sure that they're not too big. This dish works best with fish no longer than about 10 inches (25 cm). And as always, make sure the fish is absolutely fresh - look for clear, transparent eyes, and make sure there is no noticeable odor.
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RECIPE - Grilled Stuffed Mackerel (Cavala Grelhada e Recheada)
Serves 4

3 oz (75 gr, 8 Tbsp) blanched almonds, finely chopped
a few sprigs fresh tarragon
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 Tbsp bread crumbs
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
4 small mackerel, cleaned, heads and gills removed
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
lime wedges to garnish
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Brown the chopped almonds in a dry frying pan over high heat, being careful not to burn them. Put the browned almonds in a small mixing bowl, add some shredded tarragon leaves to taste, then add the chopped garlic. Add the bread crumbs, mix thoroughly, then add the beaten egg and mix again. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Stuff each fish with one quarter of the stuffing, and close the fish with skewers or twine. Cut three or four diagonal cuts in the flesh of each side of the fish, without cutting all the way through. Brush the outside with olive oil, then reserve.

Heat the grill to a high temperature. Place the fish on the grill and cook just until the skin is crispy and the flesh is opaque, about 5 minutes per side.

Serve immediately, garnished with wedges of lime and accompanied by rice or boiled potatoes and a green salad. Beer is recommended with this dish rather than wine.

Recipe translated and adapted from Blog do Adeodato.

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