Garlic a├žorda with horse mackerel
When money got tight, fishermen on the coast of Portugal would prepare a├žorda, a mixture of saut├ęed dried bread, garlic and coriander infused with stock from cooked seafood or fish. Thrifty and fabulously flavoured, a├žorda has as many variants as there are villages along the coast. This recipe uses horse mackerel, a cheap, tasty and bountiful fish for a most aromatic treat - whether you are on a budget or not.

Garlic a├žorda with horse mackerel

Posted on October 27, 2010
Categories: fish and seafood, Main Courses, Managed budget, Superfast, Uncategorized
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Recipe by: Adapted from recipe in Elle a Table online
Busy:20 min, Total prep time: 20 min
Serves: 4 
Ask your fishmonger to fillet the horse mackerels, keeping the skin on.

Place the bread cubes in a bowl and pour a bit of stock over it without wetting it completely (the bread should remain firm).

Saut├ę the bread with the garlic for 5-7 minutes in two tablespoons hot olive oil in a large frying pan. Stir occasionally and delicately, adding stock little by little. You don't want the cubes to dissolve into a massive, spongious goo but they should become soft and moist and look a bit like lightly crushed potato chunks.

Take off the heat and mix, while still hot, with the egg yolks (they will cook instantly as you stir) and the chiseled leaves off 8 coriander sprigs. You should obtain a soft yet chunky mixture. If it feels too dry, mix in a bit more olive oil and stock. Season to taste with pepper and keep aside (do taste before adding any salt, the salt in the stock having already seasoned the bread).

Heat two tablespoons olive oil in another frying pan and saut├ę the fish fillets 2-3 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze the lemon half liberally over them.

Serve the filets over a quenelle of a├žorda and fresh coriander leaves sprinkled on top.

Ask your fishmonger to fillet the horse mackerels, keeping the skin on.

Place the bread cubes in a bowl and pour a bit of stock over it without wetting it completely (the bread should remain firm).

Saut├ę the bread with the garlic for 5-7 minutes in two tablespoons hot olive oil in a large frying pan. Stir occasionally and delicately, adding stock little by little. You don’t want the cubes to dissolve into a massive, spongious goo but they should become soft and moist and look a bit like lightly crushed potato chunks.

Take off the heat and mix, while still hot, with the egg yolks (they will cook instantly as you stir) and the chiseled leaves off 8 coriander sprigs. You should obtain a soft yet chunky mixture. If it feels too dry, mix in a bit more olive oil and stock. Season to taste with pepper and keep aside (do taste before adding any salt, the salt in the stock having already seasoned the bread).

Heat two tablespoons olive oil in another frying pan and saut├ę the fish fillets 2-3 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze the lemon half liberally over them.

Serve the filets over a quenelle of a├žorda and fresh coriander leaves sprinkled on top.

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Horse mackerel, also called skad, is a fish quite close to mackerel in taste but with a less oily flesh. If you cannot find it use mackerel instead. If you prefer white fish, many traditional a├žorda recipes use salt cod, previously boiled in seasoned water (the stock is then poured over the bread). Sea bream or sea bass fillets could also possibly work.

Country bread has quite a loose texture, while a lot of loaves found in the UK are quite compact. Because the stock needed to wet the bread will vary depending on the type of bread you use, I deliberately gave an approximate range as to the volume needed.

Traditional acorda can also be served as a soup, with bread slices and garlic swimming in stock. This recipe is on the dry end of the spectrum, but do experiment with the stock quantities!
Ingredients

50 to 70 cL fish stock
300 g dried pain de campagne (country bread), cubed
2 garlic cloves
2 egg yolks
12 fresh coriander sprigs
Sea salt
Fresh pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 horse macquerels (or mackerels)
Juice of half a lemon

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