We recently smoked some mackerel, and for some reason it occurred to me that it might be good in Mac N' Cheese. It was. Maybe it should be called Mack N' Mac N' Cheese?
We like to use a nice, creamy cheese sauce for our Mac N' Cheese. We start with a basic milk-based white sauce to which we add sautéed shallot and a variety of cheeses (generally whatever we have in the fridge). This time, we used Gruyere and Irish Shannon, along with some Emmentaler, Mozzarella, and Sharp Cheddar that we had cold-smoked with apple and pecan wood.
We purchased the mackerel at Zion Market, a Korean market in Kearny Mesa. Here it is after being beheaded and cleaned:
After a quick brine, an overnight dry and 3 hours in the smoker (hot-smoked with hickory wood), here is what it looked like:
The smokiness from the mackerel and the smoked cheeses blended really nicely with the saltiness of the fish - this is a combo we'll definitely make again. Maybe with smoked salmon next time?