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Sautéed Spanish Mackerel with Black-Eyed Pea Salad
© John Kernick

Sautéed Spanish Mackerel with Black-Eyed Pea Salad

  • ACTIVE: 20 MIN

Eric Ripert's vivid black-eyed pea salad was inspired by acarajé, a traditional Bahian dish made by pounding raw peas into a paste and mixing them with dried shrimp. Ripert cooks whole peas and tosses them with a lime vinaigrette and chopped dried shrimp. The spicy dressing also moistens and flavors the pan-seared mackerel.

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  1. 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed (1 1/3 cups)
  2. 1/3 cup dried shrimp (see Note)
  3. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  5. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  6. 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  7. 1 medium shallot, very finely chopped
  8. 1 medium tomato—halved crosswise, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  9. 1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped
  10. 1 jalapeño, seeded and very finely chopped
  11. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  13. Four 6-ounce skinless Spanish mackerel fillets
  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the black-eyed peas with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the peas.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cover the dried shrimp with hot water and let stand until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the shrimp.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil with the lime juice, cilantro, scallions, shallot, tomato, garlic and jalapeño. Fold in the black-eyed peas and chopped dried shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Let the black-eyed pea salad stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. In each of two large nonstick skillets, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil until shimmering. Season the mackerel fillets with salt and pepper. Add them to the skillets and cook over high heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the fillets and cook until just opaque throughout, about 2 minutes longer.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the black-eyed pea salad onto 4 plates and set the sautéed mackerel fillets on top. Drizzle any remaining dressing from the salad around the plates and serve.
Make Ahead
The black-eyed pea salad can be prepared early in the day; cover and refrigerate. Serve lightly chilled or at room temperature.
Dried shrimp are available at Asian markets in a variety of sizes and forms. Choose headless shrimp that are still slightly pliable; they shouldn't crumble when pressed.

Suggested Pairing

This cilantro-inflected mackerel pairs perfectly with an herbal Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, particularly from the up-and-coming Casablanca Valley.