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Tuna & Mackerel fried with peppers and couscous


I really do like my fish and down at the supermarket I picked up some cheap mackerel fillets and some line-caught tuna steaks (well, the tuna was line caught – not the actual steaks!)

Both these fishies are wonderful on their own; simply grilled with a little salt and a brushing of olive oil. But sometimes you want to go a little further. Staring at me out of my cupboard is a box of good couscous that I bought the other day. Couscous is often talked about in this country, but going by the fact that in supermarkets it is usually on the back shelf of the ethnic section, a take it that it is not widely used – pity, it is dead simple!

This delicious and moreish way of cooking needs solid fish like tuna so that it does not break up. It is fried with onions, garlic, mushrooms, bacon, caper-berries, gherkins and peppers.


The Fish

You must cook the fish and the rest separately otherwise you will burn something!

In a very large frying pan, heat up 4 tablespoons of good olive oil. Into this put three chopped shallots, bacon, garlic and peppers and fry till soft and starting to turn a bit brown.

Add the gherkins and caper berries, both chopped, the mushrooms, anchovies and herbs. Cook all these together until nicely cooked.

Check for seasoning, then empty onto a plate and put the pan back on the stove.

Frying the fish in oil from the tinned anchovies

Add some oil from the anchovy tin to the pan and then fry the tuna and mackerel, both chopped up into bit sized pieces. Fry at a medium heat until just about cooked – stirring gently. Tuna is better if slightly underdone.

Return the other fried ingredients to the pan and mix together gently – try not to break the fish up. Turn the heat down to keep warm.

Now for the couscous

Finely chop the two remaining shallots and garlic and fry gently in a small amount of olive oil.

Once they are soft, add the couscous and roast in the pan for just a few minutes, stirring regularly.

Put in the tinned chopped tomatoes 1n a measuring jug. Add enough boiling water till you have the same quantity of liquid as couscous.

Pour this mixture into the couscous pan and stir well. Season and taste.

Remove from the heat, put the lid on tightly and leave for a few minutes for the couscous to swell.

Add the chopped coriander to the fish and stir. Serve immediately with the couscous.

Timing is a little critical here as you don’t want the fish sitting around for too long. But couscous really does only take a few minutes to cook, so it should not be a problem. Get your onions and garlic chopped in advance to save time.

This fragrant and happy Mediterranean dish will feed four people happily and will go with any wine or beer. It is healthy, nutritious, delicious and easy. Eat often!


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