Mackerel with salted cucumber, horseradish, onion & capers









Mackerel is one of the fishes I have a hard time passing at the fishmonger’s especially when they are filleted, saving me fiddly deboning and offering near-instant gratification. Grilled or pan fried mackerel is piled along with a nose-clearing dollop of fresh horseradish, soothing softened cucumber, zippy red onion rings and a few salty capers on crispy rye crisp bread.

There is nothing more satisfying than the first (and second and third) bite of this kind of smørrebrød and my version is ready in about 10 minutes. For this is one of the quickest and most delightful lunches you can make after you just passed the fishmonger and found this treasured fish, not to mention the smugness appeal for all the health benefit boxes it will tick. Not that that is my primary interest here. We are from the Live to Eat (great food) camp, which minds what we Eat to Live and values taste over fanatic nutrionism. Continue reading


flapjacks by the james kitchen
flapjacks, a photo by the james kitchen on Flickr.

Flapjacks – or if you live on the other side of the pond: Granola bars, muesli bars, oat-fruit-nut-bars…

This is a fantastic weekend project: gratifyingly quick to make and wonderfully comforting in taste. Brilliant to take out on long walk through the autumnal countryside or to get back to with a warming cup of tea after you finished that walk. Lots of warm oats and hazelnuts on one side, orange zest, cranberries and tart pomegranate pips on the other, married by butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. These are a great treat and kept in a jar on the kitchen counter with some white paper bags aside (never to old to play shop!) – easy to grab one if you might have gotten up veeerrrry late and need breakfast on the go or something for a longer journey. Makes great bribes, too. Just saying.


Makes 16 big or 25 smaller ones
90g dried cranberries (I prefer unsweetened)
10g dried pomegranate pips or barberries (both are extremely tart small berries and add a nice contrast)
1 organic orange, zests & juice
juice of ½ lemon
4 tablespoons golden syrup (oil the spoon first, easier to get the syrup out)
200g butter, unsalted
100g brown or raw cane sugar
250g of jumbo oats (I use Kölln kernige Multikorn Flocken: mix of wholemeal oat, wheat, rye, barley & spelt flakes)
100g flour
100g hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) or 160°C fan oven. Line a square baking tin (21cm or 8 inches) with baking parchment cutting two sides a bit longer so it is easier to lift the baked sheet out later.
Place the cranberries, pomegranate pips, orange zests and juices in a small saucepan and heat gently over a low heat. Once warm, take it of the hob and leave aside for the fruit to soften.
Melt the butter with the sugar and golden syrup in another pan until the sugar has dissolved.
Mix the oats, flour and hazelnuts in a large bowl. Add the plumped up fruit and juice from one pan and the sugar-butter mix from the other. Stir together with a wooden spoon and decant into the baking tin. Level the surface and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool, then lift it out of the tin and cut into bars or squares.