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Linda Greenlaw’s Spicy Pan-Fried Mackerel Fingers

When the mackerel are running, any idiot can catch them. For those mackerel lovers out there, here’s a way to cook it so it can really be enjoyed. You’ll need four nice big fat mackerel (“horse” mackerel, as opposed to the smaller fish called “tinker” mackerel) that are big enough to be filleted.

Citrus Tartar Sauce
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
Zest and juice of 1 lime
3 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
3 Tablespoons minced red onion
2 garlic cloves, run through a press
Dash of Worcestershire sauce

4 large fresh mackerel (about 1 to 1¼ pounds each)
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

For the sauce, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Skin the mackerel, cut the fillets off the bones, and cut each piece in half the long way. This should result in 16 pieces of fish.

On a plate, combine the flour and seafood seasoning and dredge the mackerel fingers in the seasoned flour.

Heat the butter and oil in one very large or two smaller skillets. Fry the fish over medium to medium-high heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve with the Citrus Tartar Sauce.

Serves 4.

Linda Greenlaw is a bestselling author, cookbook author, former swordboat captain, and Isle au Haut resident.

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