Cooking Seafood with Summer Vegetables

The refreshing taste of summer will be yours with a dish of grilled Mackerel fillets with sliced and mashed apples. With a small amount of preparation in the kitchen, you can serve the dish in your garden or from the BBQ in your city apartment.

You will need one Mackerel around 450 g in size per person. Fillet the fish with emphasis on removing the fine pin bones. Very gently make slight incisions in the skin side of the fish, no more than just skin deep. This will speed the cooking time and stop the fillet curling when grilled.

Select a type of apple that is quite sharp and preferably green. The purpose is to produce a sharp accompaniment to balance the oily nature of the Mackerel, so do not add sugar. If you have a sweet tooth adjust accordingly. Treat the apple will need in two ways, some peeled and seeded for the mash, and some unpeeled slices for char grilling. For each serving you will need 150 ml of diced apple and 5 slices of unpeeled apple.

Add the chunks of apple to a pan with a knob of unsalted butter, cover with a lid and cook until soft, then blend and keep warm. Lightly coat the slices of apple with vegetable oil and place on the griddle, after a few seconds turn through 45 degrees to give a diamond effect, then turn over and repeat the process, and keep warm. The apple slices should still be very crisp. Now place the Mackerel fillets on the char grill or under an eye level grill, turning once until cooked. Check that they are 62 degrees Celsius with a digital thermometer.

In the centre of the plate place the mash surrounded by overlapping slices of apple and topped with the cooked Mackerel fillets. Serve with a simple salad.

Comments:- the level of flavouring, such as sugar, will always be up to personal taste. But if you have a sweet tooth try to keep the level of sugar as low as possible, not only to reduce the calorie content but mainly so that the natural flavours of the fish and fruit are prevalent. If need be try flavouring at the table with freshly squeezed orange or even lemon juice. The dish can also be served with other tangy fruits such as gooseberries. The Mackerel can be replaced with other medium whole fish, such as Herring, Trout or Sardines, and if you decide you can use the whole gutted fish.

A Guide to Fine Dining

Dining out with that special someone? Taking co-workers or prospective clients out to a fine dining restaurant? Make sure you mind your manners and make a good impression with these tips.

Keep your Reservations: Fine dining restaurants usually require reservations. To be sure they can accommodate you and your party makes a reservation well in advance. If the amount of people change or the your unable to attend dinner during your reservation time, make sure you call and let them know. It’s common curiosity to tell the restaurant that you no longer are going to be dining there and it’s a a must if you frequent the restaurant or want to make future reservations.

Dress appropriately: call ahead to find out what dress requirements the restaurant has. Some finer dining establishments have very strict dress codes and may require you to wear certain attire to eat in the restaurant. Don’t cause embarrassment by showing up unprepared; this will only cause you, your guests, and the restaurant great inconvenience.

Understanding the Menu: Often times at fine dining establishments, entrees can be in languages you’re unable to read let alone say. While it may seem embarrassing to have to ask what a menu item is, don’t assume you’re the only one who has done it. Asking your server will help you choose something you will enjoy and something that will be worth the money you put towards it. If you’ve asked a few questions and still aren’t sure what you want off the menu, ask your sever about the feature entrĂ©e or the chef’s signature dish. Chances are the chef’s signature dish is going to be great, so as long as it’s something you think you can eat then try going with that.

Mind Your Manners: Manners a must at a fine dining restaurant. Be sure to practice chivalry when women are present, this means getting up when they excuse themselves, or pulling out their chairs when they return to the table. It’s also important to practice when receiving your food. Place your napkin across your lap before you eat and when you do get your meal be polite and don’t just dig in. Even if you’re starving and haven’t had anything to eat in days, don’t dive into your meal the minute the server places it in front of you. It’s customary and polite to wait for everyone in your party to receive your food before their meal.

Wine: Unless you’re a very experienced wine connoisseur, chances are the wine list at a fine dining restaurant can be a little daunting. If you’re not sure what wine to choose, ask your server for suggestions. Your server or another member of the restaurant staff should have a decent understanding of wine and should be able to guide you in the right direction. If the staff seems less than helpful, choose something that you are familiar with. It may be a good idea to read up on your wines before going dining out. This way you can have a few backup wines in mind.

Tipping: A tip is an essential part of your dining experience and should act as a reflection of the service you have had. The average amount for a tip is between 15 and 20 percent of your total bill. If you had superb service and want to show your server you appreciate them give him or her little extra. If your service was less than subpar it’s okay to tip less, but unless your service was absolutely awful it’s generally not a good idea to not tip at all. Make sure you tip the server based on his or her service.