Happy Earth Day! Here is a recipe featuring a sustainable food, fished the world around, courtesy of Mario Batali. By the way, the Italian word Scapece refers to the marinade.
Mackerel in Scapece with Lemon Thyme and Sweet Peppers
Ingredients serve 4:
1 pound mackerel fillet, cut diagonally into 2-inch diamonds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
10 to 15 saffron threads, crushed in a mortar and pestle
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Season the fish with Mrs. Dash or salt and pepper.
In a wide, deep sauté pan, combine the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the lemon juice, lemon thyme, red pepper flakes, saffron, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add the fish chunks, adding a bit of water if needed to cover the fish, and simmer until the fish is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the fish to cool in the liquid.
In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, reduce the heat to low, and cook slowly to wilt the peppers. Once the peppers have begun to soften, sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar, the mustard seeds, and garlic. Cook until the garlic is softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Remove the mackerel pieces from the scapece and arrange in stacks on four chilled plates. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the saffron liquid over each serving and then sprinkle with the red pepper mixture. Serve immediately.
The Lee Pullen took this amazing mackerel fishing photo.