At the beginning of 2021 my then wife, a wonderful woman by the way, very sensibly realised that I was a massive arsehole and we agreed to go our separate ways. I won’t lie and say it’s been smooth sailing on the seas of singledom (oooh, esses) but every so slowly I am finding my lonely way in this world. The real learning curve has been, oddly, cooking.
I always enjoyed cooking when I had someone to cook for but when it’s just me, sat at my PC and suddenly realising hunger is upon me, it’s hard to muster the effort to prepare something interesting. My quest for quick and easy feedin’ has led me to discover some absolutely fantastic meals for the single human. Well, maybe not fantastic, but good. OK. Edible, anyway.
After yet another night of cobbling together some vaguely acceptable monstrosity I hit upon the notion of sharing my recipes with the world. That is to say, I dejectedly choked down the last bite of my Noodle Lack-Of-Surprise and figured why the hell should I suffer this crap alone? There must be millions of single people all across the world in need of meal ideas and while i’m not going to win a Michelin star (or even a Goodyear smiley face) for any of my offerings, they at least serve to fill a hunger hole.
With that in mind, I present to you the first recipe in a new series. I eventually plan to combine them all into a book which will sell around fifty copies as “hilarious” gag gifts bought for people who’ve just been dumped. Free abject depression with every copy sold!
I love mackerel. I have many happy memories of mackerel bashing (that means fishing for them, not beating them with sticks or directing verbal abuse towards the sea) with my grandfather, before returning home to try up a few with lashings of vinegar. It’s a delicious and relatively cheap piece of fish and one of the best ways to prepare it is soused mackerel. If you check the net, there are some great recipes for making this dish, I particularly like Nigel Slater’s classic take on it. This…isn’t that. Actually preparing and cooking a nice, fresh piece of fish is a ballache when you just want to cram something down your gullet to stop the stomach ache so I invented a quick and easy alternative. It’ll do.
1/2 tins of mackerel (Get the kind in brine, not oil. Trust me, no-one needs lubed up fish.)
A bit of salad cream
Couple slices of bread
1) Open the tin of mackerel. If you bought the mackerel in oil by mistake, like I did, this will involve getting slippery hands, losing your grip and slicing your hand open on the razor sharp metal lid. PRO TIP: Don’t bleed on your sodding mackerel.
2) Open a second, less bloody tin of mackerel.
3) Drain off the oil or brine and use a fork to get most of the mackerel out of the tin. I say most because a couple wee bits always tuck in under the rim of the tin and you can have fun swearing at your errant fish as you chase it around the tin like an idiot.
4) Cover it in vinegar. Just slosh it in there.
5) Shake in a bit of chilli powder.
6) Add a wee bit of salad cream while saying something like “this will bind it together nicely” so you feel like you’re cooking, not just slapping fish on bread.
7) Slap the fish on the bread
Boom. Got yourself a sandwich. If you’re feeling refined you can cut it in half but I prefer to roughly tear it in two and wolf it down while watching Robocop 3.
The perfect accompaniment to this dish is a half drank can of cheap cider and the lingering memory of the loving touch of another human being.
That delicious looking sushi dish image comes from Mak_jp – https://www.pexels.com/photo/raw-fish-with-sushi-rice-on-a-plate-10138045/
The excellent pizza image from my mock up book cover is by by Polina Tankilevitch – https://www.pexels.com/photo/pizza-slice-in-hand-4109048/