Week 1: Mark Clemens' Mackerel Cakes with Aioli served with Green Beans in Fresh Orange Vinaigrette

Posted10/10/2017 3:11 PM
  • Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Mark Clemens prepared Mackerel Cakes with Aioli served with Green Beans in Fresh Orange Vinaigrette.

      Cook of the Week Challenge contestant Mark Clemens prepared Mackerel Cakes with Aioli served with Green Beans in Fresh Orange Vinaigrette. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Mark Clemens

    Mark Clemens

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

Fresh Orange Vinaigrette (divided)

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

½ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon orange zest

salt and pepper to taste

Aioli (divided)

1 cup prepared mayonnaise

¼ cup reserved vinaigrette

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons finely minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)

1 teaspoon salt

Green Beans

1 pound trimmed fresh green beans

½ cup pine nuts

salt and pepper to taste

¾ cup reserved orange vinaigrette

approximately ¼ cup good quality olive oil for sautéing

1 tablespoon orange zest (reserved)

Mackerel Cakes

6 4.05-ounce cans of King Oscar canned mackerel in olive oil

2 tablespoons minced green onion (white and light green


2 tablespoons drained minced jarred pimento

¼ cup (reserved) aioli

2 egg yolks

8 rice cakes, processed to make crumbs (divided)

vegetable oil for sautéing

Additional reserved aioli for condiment

For the Vinaigrette: Using a fine grater, zest one large orange. You should have approximately 2 tablespoons. Set aside one tablespoon to use for finishing the green beans. Juice same orange to make approximately ½ cup liquid.

Combine orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon orange zest in a medium bowl. Slowly add olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the Aioli: Whisk all ingredients to combine mayo, reserved vinaigrette, Dijon mustard, garlic and salt.

For the Green Beans: In a large pot of salted boiling water blanch beans until just crisp (about three minutes).

Immediately drain and plunge into ice bath. (These can be prepared well ahead of time and refrigerated until final cooking.) Heat olive oil in a large saute pan and lightly brown the pine nuts. Add green beans and continue to cook until desired doneness is reached, adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, cool slightly and toss with approximately ¾ cup vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the Mackerel Cakes: Break up rice cakes in small pieces and process in a food processor until breadcrumb texture, taking care not to overprocess to powder. Set crumbs in shallow bowl.

In a medium bowl combine canned mackerel, ¼ cup rice cake crumbs, green onions, pimento, 2 tablespoons reserved aioli, egg yolks, salt and pepper to taste. With hands form four cakes about ¾-inch thick. Carefully coat cakes with crumb mixture, pressing into cake. Reserve the bowl of crumbs for one last coating if necessary just before sautéing. Chill cakes for at least an hour and up to four hours to allow them to firm.

When ready, heat oil in a large saute pan, lay the cakes carefully in hot oil and sauté until nicely browned.

Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle green beans with reserved tablespoon of orange zest. Drizzle remaining aioli over the cakes and serve with the green beans on the side.

Note: All four items of this recipe can be prepared ahead of time leaving only the final sautéing of the mackerel cakes to remain.

Serves 4

Recipe by Mark Clemens

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