Eat– for Good Health

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.

Mackerel fishing by Lee
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13 thoughts on “Eat– for Good Health

  1. kathleen rowland

    Hi Mary Alice. I started off my day writing a thank you note to the local roads department for planting three mature shrubs on the public berm behind our house. I had been doing my own gorilla planting back there with small trees I’d ordered and sprinkling wild flower seeds around (shade type) around. They noticed and started doing more planting back there.

  2. kathleen rowland

    (For those not aware, Gerry Coutou who had a heart attack while walking died yesterday after having been in a coma. He left a son, Paul, age 20 and wife, Janis, who had suffered brain cancer. Relatives have been at the house caring for Janis, but the group is leaving for Connecticut tomorrow with Janis who will live with her mother.)
    Mary Alice, I am making a meal for them today. I asked Paul to choose something, and he picked crab cakes. It was kind of him to remember something I’d made years ago for a Christmas block party.

  3. kathleen rowland

    As you would guess, Janessa, Paul is very independent, having taken care of himself at an early age. He plans to stay is the same house (which is a fixer-upper rental) and pay the monthly rent with a group of friends. The aunts and uncles think it is okay. They feel his friends are good responsible types, as Paul is. It’s a lot for kids their ages.

  4. Janessa

    Hope their plan is attainable. If it isn’t, Paul will figure something out. Obviously, he wants to stay here and not move with his mom to Connecticut.

  5. kathleen rowland

    Apparently he has been working and living out of the house for awhile. I hope Paul gets back to college because he is very bright. There is absolutely no money. Gerry went into debt, according to one of the aunts, when getting medical help for Janis.

  6. Mary Alice Tallmadge

    That’s what everyone agrees on, Reba. He was holding everything together and under terrible personal/financial stress.

  7. kathleen rowland

    Research indicates that caregivers are more likely to have health problems like diabetes and heart disease than non-caregivers. Caring for another person takes a lot of time, effort, and work. In Gerry Coutou’s case, he juggled caregiving with a full-time job and was sinking financially.

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