Mackerel is a fairly small, round, oily fish rather bigger than a herring, with characteristic blue-black markings on the back, creamy colored flesh and a distinctive flavor. It is sold whole for grilling, frying or baking, and must be fresh and eaten on the same day. Smoked mackerel is sold whole and ready for eating. Mackerel recipes abound and they differ from country to country. Boiled mackerel recipes are probably the easiest. Clean the mackerel well, and let them lie a short time in vinegar and water. Then put them into the fish-kettle with cold water and a handful of salt. Boil them slowly. If small, they will be sufficiently cooked in twenty minutes. When the eye starts and the tail splits they are done. Take them up immediately on finding them boiled enough. If they stand any time in the water they will break. Serve them up with parsley sauce, and garnish the dish with lumps of minced parsley. They are eaten with mustard. For boiling, choose those that have soft roes. Another way is to put them in cold salt and water, and let them warm gradually for an hour. Then give them one hard boil, and they will be done. There are many mackerel recipes that are more ingenious for those who are more advanced in cooking. Mackerel Parcels: 4 Mackerels,2 oz butter, pinch of garlic salt,1 small onion grated or chopped, an orange cut into chunks, grated rind and juice of 1 orange, salt and pepper to taste, few sprigs of parsley. Preparation: After heading, gutting and cleaning fish season with salt and pepper. Then mix butter until soft add the orange rind and juice mixing until smooth. Add the garlic salt and onion mixing well. Divide this into 4 portions and place inside each mackerel. Place each fish on a large piece of greased foil and fold and crimp edges together to form a parcel over each fish making sure no juices can escape. Place the parcels on a baking tin or casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven. When cooked open parcels and decorate with orange pieces and parsley. Serve hot or cold. To prepare broiled Spanish mackerel, first split a good-sized Spanish mackerel down the back, clean and wipe as dry as possible, leaving the head and tail on or off, as desired. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper. Rub he wire broiler with Crisco and lay on this, flesh side up. Turn when the flesh is tender and broil on the skin side until brown and crisp, and serve with cucumbers dressed with oil and lemon juice. For soused mackerel you'll need: A mackerel per person cleaned etc. and an equal amount of vinegar and water to cover them. Then for every 2 fish use 2 garlic cloves, 1 sliced small onion, 1 bay leaf, 6 peppercorns, and 1teaspoon salt. Then roll the fish from head to tail and wedge together so that they don't unroll into a deep oven proof dish. Half fill dish with vinegar then fill up with water to cover the fish, put all the above ingredients in and cover. Bake for an hour on a moderate heat. Leave the fish to cool in the liquid then tuck in.
You will be able to find many more mackerel recipes both in cookbooks and online. Mackerel is tasty and easy to make. Enjoy!