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A Quick One, While She's Away!

The ‘She’ of my title refers to my wife. Please don’t take offence… I am very well aware of the tutting which ensues over the likes of ‘The Other Half’, ‘Er indoors’, ‘The old trout’ and any number of terribly dismissive terms which are too often given to dearly loved partners. I will immediately revert to the all-enveloping ‘Mrs. Cheoff’ which is used here as a veil of relative anonymity and, of course, for tax-dodging purposes!

Last week these words formed the basis for this post: “Just have whatever you fancy for lunch… I’m off with a friend for a double birthday celebration and catch-up.” We spend huge amounts of our life together but when Mrs. Cheoff is otherwise occupied I take full advantage.

The solo lunch was needed for Thursday… Thursday morning being Dean’s Fish Van Day, I walked the six hundred metres to my maritime meals supply unit with purpose and a little excitement. It was my chance to have something with which Mrs. Cheoff might struggle. A Grimsby (Grimsby; once ‘the largest fishing port in the world) lass, she has a fish preference for haddock alone!

I found myself coming away with what I’d had in mind more or less before setting out… a lovely filleted mackerel.

All was set for my midday indulgence… once I’d fired up the barbecue!

While the coals were getting to temperature I whisked up a marinade of

Zest and juice from one lime

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 tablespoon mirin

1 finely chopped green chilli

1 tablespoon olive oil

(add sugar if the mirin doesn’t add enough sweetness for you)


The mackerel was laid in the marinade and turned over after ten minutes.

I had already parboiled some slices of baby potatoes and these would be the only accompaniment to the fish. They were finished off by flashing around in a little olive oil until golden.

The coals were now fit for work and after a generous grind of pepper the mackerel began its final journey across the grill. I'm a coward when it comes to delicate fish so this one was neatly trapped in a sausage cage!

Some of the marinade was drizzled over during a sizzling, smoky seven(minutes)-a-side cooking. 

The sun made a timely appearance and shone its rays on the remnants of my meal in what I can only imagine was a mark of respect. I had certainly grasped my opportunity. Those bones would have made Mrs. Cheoff shudder. I was happy to allow them to slow down my progress through one of the tastiest and most enjoyable of lunches I've taken alone. All cooking smells were dispersed outdoors and all the evidence below was in an outside bin before 'The one who wears the trousers'... MRS. CHEOFF (!) returned. ;)

Lovely stuff - all the better for being a very occasional delight. One which will be repeated if I can encourage someone to go out and leave me alone on her next birthday! ;)

What?... Oh, please... you surely don't have to ask! Yes, as soon as I took the first photographs of that splendid mackerel I knew perfectly well how all this would finish. So, this is for one and all - the doubters and those who know me so well!

The Mackerel Falcon!

All images and content are the property of Geoff Griffiths. Copyright Geoff Griffiths 2014 ©