Turks call these sandwiches balik ekmek and make them with grilled fish--like mackerel--from the Bosphorus. For his version, Mehmet Gurs spreads grilled bread with a creamy roasted-garlic puree and tops it with smoked mackerel, arugula and slices of red onion and tomato.
Mackerel has a wonderful flavor and a great, firm texture, but it definitely gets a bad rap as a "fishy" fish. Maybe that's why it's always so reasonably priced. Here, the mustard, dill and caramelized-apple flavors in the relish flatter the rich, almost smoky-tasting grilled filletts.
Sautéed Spanish Mackerel with Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Eric Ripert's vivid black-eyed pea salad was inspired by acaraje, 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.
Rosemary-Grilled Mackerel with Mustard-Dill Mayonnaise
In late summer, Rachel Allen's sons, Joshua and Lucca, fish for mackerel, and she has become an expert at preparing it. "It has a strong flavor that is not shy," she notes, "so it goes well with other strong flavors, like mustard and dill."