I've been eyeing this smoked Mackerel at the market for a long time now and I knew exactly how I would prepare them. When looking at this fish it reminds me of the smoked fish my Grandfather would bring with him when visiting from Brooklyn. He would bring us surprises almost every weekend he visited. One of my favorite was the fresh caught Bluefish that my mom would have us scale and rinse, then she would sprinkle with fresh chopped garlic and thin lemon slices along with some herbs and seasoning. She would bake the fish in the oven and then drizzle with warm melted butter. My Grandfather would also bring large 20 pound boxes of pasta, fresh Maine Lobster and of course some sort of smoked fish.
Place the smoked Mackerel on a couple layers of old newspaper and with a knife cut down the back side to remove the top fillet, set aside.
Remove the head along with the backbone and tail and set aside. Slice both fillets and reserve for garnish.
Smoked Mackerel Chowder
two small Smoked Mackerel
three tablespoons butter
four cloves of garlic, peeled, sliced thin
two medium sweet onions, peeled and chopped
four medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and washed and cut into cubes
one cup dry white wine
four sprigs of fresh thyme
two cups heavy cream
three cups half and half
a couple of drops of Tabasco
two teaspoons of Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce
Heat a three or four quart sauce pot over medium heat, add the butter, garlic and onions and cook for about three minutes. Pour in the wine and reduce by half. Add the potatoes, smoked Mackerel backbone and head, thyme, cream and half and half and bring to a simmer.
Simmer slowly until the potatoes are soft. Remove the Smoked Mackerel bones and thyme springs and then puree with a immersion blender. Strain through a mesh strainer. Season the soup with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and Lea and Perrins.(At this point the soup can be cooled and stored in the refrigerator for one week).
Place the soup back on the stove and heat to a simmer. Ladle the soup into soup bowls and garnish with the sliced Smoked Mackerel fillets and croutons. Enjoy!