This recipe uses Pimenta Moida, a Portuguese fermented red pepper paste, available at Portuguese markets and other gourmet stores.
- 1 (2 to 3-pound) mackerel, cleaned with head and tail on, rinsed and patted dry
- 4 1/2 teaspoons Pimenta Moida
- 4 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup minced green onions
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Portuguese bread or cornbread, accompaniment
Place the fish on a baking sheet and cut 4 slits into each side. In a small bowl, combine the Pimenta Moida, garlic, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Wearing rubber gloves, rub the mixture evenly onto both sides of the fish. Let sit while assembling the remaining ingredients.
In a large pan, combine the flour, cornmeal, and Essence.
Preheat the oil in a large pot to 360 degrees F. The oil should come halfway up the sides.
Dredge the fish in the cornmeal mixture, tossing to coat evenly. Add to the hot oil and fry, turning, until golden brown and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Place on a platter and serve hot, passing the onion sauce at the table. Serve with warm bread.
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch
Published by William and Morrow, 1993.