You don't have javascript enabled! Please download Google Chrome! PAN FRIED MACKEREL WITH CHILLI BRUSSEL SPROUTS - The Wholehearted Cook


Dani VennUnder The Sea

Stop screwing up your nose. Brussel sprouts are awesome. If you don’t think so then I suggest that you’ve probably been cooking or eating them the wrong way. Unfortunately many vegetables suffer the cruel injustice of being boiled or steamed to the point of lifelessness. The brilliant green stem of broccoli turns a dull muddy green after being blasted with too much heat, but, like an act of rebellion against over-cooking, the brussel sprout reacts violently releasing a wicked pong that makes you gag. Hence the poor old brussel sprout is quite used to being shunned at the dinner table by kids and adults alike.

But I’m a big believer in if you don’t like something you just haven’t eaten it the way it’s supposed to be cooked and the most delicious way to cook sprouts is by pan-frying or, as strange as it sounds, deep-frying. Don’t believe me? Try Portenos Crispy Fried Sprouts with Lentils and Mint, trust me, it’s a revelation.

Thankfully in recent years sprouts have made a comeback on restaurant menus, at earthy dinner parties and in forward thinking cookbooks just like the one found in Lola Berry’s latest book, The Happy Cookbook. Lola prepares her sprouts simply by pan-frying them in a little extra virgin olive oil and then waiting for them to become crispy, golden and caramelised. The way sprouts should be served. I adore this recipe as it contains few ingredients but it has maximum flavour with the addition of garlic, chilli and a squeeze of lemon. Lola also pairs her sprouts with mackerel, which is a fantastic sustainable fish to eat. Winning!

If you haven’t already had the chance to watch Lola and I in action, doing simple yoga poses and talking about mindful eating and the importance of real food, I’d love for you to check them out! Enjoy, Dani.

THE HAPPY COOKBOOK by Lola Berry is published by Plum, RRP $34.99
THE HAPPY COOKBOOK by Lola Berry is published by Plum, RRP $34.99


Serves 2 peeps

Takes about 15 minutes to cook (ripper!)

It’s safe to say that brussels sprouts are probably my all-time favourite veggie. I swear if you cook them right then anyone will love them. This is one of my staple recipes, especially in the winter. And mackerel is terrific because it’s loaded with omega-3. It’s a winning combination!



4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

12 brussels sprouts, quartered

1⁄2 red chilli, finely sliced

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

2 mackerel fillets (about 160 –180 g each)


Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan over a medium heat and add the garlic. Wait for about 30 seconds until you can smell the garlic start to release its aromas, then pop in the brussels sprouts and chilli and season to taste. Leave the sprouts for a minute or so, until they to start to caramelise. Give them a little toss, then take them off the heat as they start to brown. Tip them into a big bowl and add an extra drizzle of olive oil.

It’s time to cook the mackerel. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the frying pan, then in go the mackerel fillets, skin-side down. Cook for about 6 minutes, then flip them over and give them another 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, season to taste, then add another nice drizzle of extra- virgin olive oil before serving with the chilli brussels sprouts. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Extract from The Happy Cookbook, Pan Macmillan Publishing 2015


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