Serving
(click to enlarge)

Mackerel with Lemon Sauce
Bulgaria
  -   Skumriya S Limon
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 main.  
***
2 hr  
Yes

Wow - what a cascade of flavors! This is not a dish for wimps, and definitely not for those who want their fish "white and light", but for anyone who actually likes fish, this will be a revelation. The sweet vegetable sauce perfectly compliments the robust flavors of Atlantic Mackerel. I have changed the method (see Note-5) but not the ingredients, except to reduce amount of butter.


3-1/2
2
------
1-3/4
2-1/2
1
6
2
1
1
------
5
1-1/2
1
1
------
#
t
---
#
oz
#
oz

t
t
---
T
T
T
c
---
Mackerel (1)
Salt
-- Sauce
Tomatoes
Carrots
Celery Root (2)
Onion
Bay Leaf
Salt
Pepper
----------
Butter (3)
Lemon Juice
Butter (more)
Parsley, flat (4)
-- Garnish
Lemon Slices
Prep   -   (45 min + 45 min clean & Fillet Fish)
  1. Clean MACKEREL and fillet it. Don't attempt to skin mackerel. Cut the fillets into chunks about 1-1/2 inches on a side. Rub with 1 t Salt and set aside until needed.
  2. Scald TOMATOES in boiling water 1 minute, quench in cold water, peel and dice medium.
  3. Dice CARROTS small. Peel CELERY ROOT and dice small. Chop ONION small. Mix all with Tomatoes along with Bay Leaves, Salt and Pepper.
  4. Squeeze Lemon Juice.
  5. Chop PARSLEY small.
  6. Slice Lemon for Garnish, if used.
RUN   -   (1 hr stovetop, 1-1/2 hr oven)
  1. In a spacious sauté pan, (3-1/2 quarts is perfect) heat Butter and fry Sauce Mix, stirring until well blended and up to a simmer. Cover tightly and simmer the vegetables in their own juices over low heat until well softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. Remove Bay Leaves and purée Sauce Mix in a food processor or by whatever means you have.
  3. Mix Lemon Juice into the sauce.
  4. Clean the sauté pan.
  5. Melt 1 T Butter in the sauté pan and arrange the Mackerel evenly in the pan.
  6. Pour Sauce over the Mackerel and spread evenly. Bring to a simmer. Cover tightly and simmer for about 6 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the Parsley evenly over the sauce. Cover and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Serve hot. Goes well with steamed rice or Romanian polenta.
NOTES:
  1. Mackerel:   Weight is for whole, uncleaned fish. Choose Atlantic (Norwegian) Mackerel, the perfect compliment to the sweet vegetable sauce. Yes, they have Atlantic Mackerel in Bulgaria, it infests the Black Sea. For details see our Mackerels page.
  2. Celery Root:   [Celeriac] Accept no substitute. These are reasonably available in produce markets today. Choose small ones (about 1 pound) with lots of stems. Larger ones, and especially ones with just one thick stem tend to be very fibrous. For details see our Celery Root page.
  3. Butter:   The pattern recipe called for a whole cup of Butter. I considered this excessive for modern times and tastes and cut it way back.
  4. Parsley:   Flat Leaf Only! Yes, that's 1 cup chopped small, not a mistake. The Bulgarians probably picked this up from the Turks, who treat parsley more like a vegetable than like an herb. Don't skimp.
  5. Method:   The pattern recipe presumes cooking whole fish with the sauce and finishing in the oven.In my opinion, messing with heads, bones and fins on the plate can only detract from the enjoyment of these unique flavors, so, without any apology, I violate tradition. My method also allows this dish to be served in less organized settings, such as buffet service with guests not skilled in handling fish bones.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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