Atlantic mackerel, seared in a well-seasoned ripping hot cast iron pan until the skin is shatteringly crispy, then doused with lemon and an easy + tangy crème fraîche “sauce,” and topped with parsley, crunchy sea salt + Aleppo-style pepper. Minimal, simple, bright ingredients that highlight the mackerel’s rich flavor.
Pat dry both sides of the fish. Heat a cast-iron pan on med-high and add a touch of neutral oil. When it’s slightly smoking, carefully add the mackerel fillets, skin-side down, at most two at a time. Press flat for a little bit and cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes. Flip and cook for another minute. Things may get splatter-y so be careful! Transfer fish to serving plates and repeat with any remaining fillets.
Turn heat down to low and add some crème fraîche (about 1 generous dollop per fillet) to the same pan. Stir around and as soon as the crème fraîche has melted, carefully tilt the pan and spoon the “sauce” over and around the mackerel fillets on the plates. This easy sauce imparts a buttery tangy flavor that complements the fish. Squeeze fresh lemon juice and sprinkle minced parsley, crunchy sea salt and Aleppo-style pepper all over. Serve immediately, with your favorite carb + veg for a complete meal. This recipe also works well with other thin-fillet fish!