The Mackerel, Pickle and Sheep Yoghurt was presented during the European Young Chef Award 2017, a competition organized by IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Art and Tourism) which sees Young Chefs coming from European Regions of Gastronomy compete inside the kitchens of a Culinary Arts School focusing on the theme: Innovation on Tradition.
Developed by Aisling Rock, the Young Chef winner of the 2017 edition, and inspired by Galway Bay’s ongoing tradition of Mackerel fishing in an attempt to valorize this local product.
Crispy mackerel belly
Mix salt, sugar and dill together and cure the belly for 20 minutes, then wash and dry. Burn hay to ash and pass through a sieve. Coat the belly in buttermilk then in the hay ash, and fry gently until golden.
Cured mackerel – Blowtorched
Mix sea salt from Achill Island, caster sugar, lemon zest, lemon thyme, juniper berry, together except the mackerel. Place on the mackerel and cure in the fridge for 30 – 40 minutes. Wash off, Path Dry. Blowtorch skin side up.
Sheep milk yoghurt
Blend distilled water with Algin one day before use.
Mix yoghurt, lime zest and juice and lemon thyme together. Using a Parisian scoop make balls and put into Algin Water mix. After a minute, take out and place into the fresh distilled water until needed.
Bring water with cider vinegar, caster sugar, lemon thyme, garlic, clove, juniper berry, bay leaf, cardamom pod. Bring all ingredients to the boil very slowly, leave to cool and strain.
Raw and pickled vegetable salad
For the pickled veg mix cucumber, courgette, carrot, beetroot. For the raw veg mix fennel, baby gem, red and yellow chicory, rocket, candied beet and stumpy carrot. Finally for the garnish mix rocket leaf, Radish and fresh horseradish.
Arrange the Mackerel on a plate, dress with the set yoghurt and garnish with the raw and pickled salad.
Source: IGCAT – European Young Chef Awards 2017, Region of Gastronomy