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posted: 10/10/2017 3:12 PM

Week 1: Joe Wachter's Pan-fried mackerel fillets with citrus-pickled green beans and achiote mayonnaise

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  • Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Joe Wachter of unincorporated Lake Zurich made Pan-fried Mackerel Fillets With Citrus-Pickled Green Beans And Achiote Mayonnaise.

      Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Joe Wachter of unincorporated Lake Zurich made Pan-fried Mackerel Fillets With Citrus-Pickled Green Beans And Achiote Mayonnaise.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Joe Wachter

    Joe Wachter

 
Editor's note: Recipes appear as submitted and written by contestants.

Secret ingredients: Canned mackerel from King Oscar, Fresh green beans from Tony's Fresh Market, Rice cakes and Navel Oranges from Northern Illinois Food Bank

1 can King Oscar Royal Fillets of mackerel in olive oil

2 oranges

½ red onion, radial sliced (lyonnaise)

8 ounces green beans, ends trimmed

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lime juice

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon achiote paste (such as El Yucateco brand -- brick, not jar)

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 egg yolk

1 rice cake

cilantro leaves, for garnish

Separate the mackerel fillets with care, keeping large pieces together and reserving the liquid. Finely zest one orange and squeeze the juice from both. Wash onion slices under warm water for 30-60 seconds to reduce their bite. Blanch green beans by boiling for 30 seconds, then running under cold water or submerging in an ice water bath. Whisk together 2 tablespoons each of orange juice, lime juice, vinegar and olive oil. Season with plenty of salt and pepper, then toss with beans and onion. Set aside to pickle.

Pour the reserved liquid from the mackerel can in a measuring cup and add olive oil until the total volume is ½ cup. Put the achiote paste, 1 teaspoon lime juice, mustard, egg yolk and 1 tablespoon orange juice in a glass large enough to fit an immersion blender. Blend together, then slowly drizzle in olive oil mixture until mayonnaise is desired consistency. Season with salt and mix in orange zest.

Grind rice cake in food processor to a coarse powder, like kosher salt. Add salt to taste. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy skillet until lightly smoking. Dredge mackerel fillets in rice powder, then fry until rice coating is brown and crispy, about 1 minute per side. Assemble on plates, topped with cilantro leaves.

Serves 2

Joe Wachter

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