Open-Faced Pickled Mackerel and Apple Sandwiches
Gourmet / Epicurious
½ pound fresh mackerel fillets (preferably Boston)
¼ cup white-wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
2 ½teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pickling spices
¼ cup cream cheese (about 2 ounces), softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
2 slices rye bread
½crisp apple such as Braeburn or McIntosh
Garnish: chopped fresh chives
Trim any excess skin from fish and with tweezers remove any small bones. In a saucepan just large enough to hold fillets in one layer bring water and vinegar to a boil with sugar, salt, and pickling spices and simmer 1 minute. Add fish to pickling liquid and cover with a heatproof plate slightly smaller than diameter of pan, weighting plate with a can to prevent fish from curling. Cook fish at a bare simmer 4 minutes, or until just cooked through, and transfer fish and pickling liquid to a glass dish. Chill mixture in freezer 20 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk together cream cheese and sour cream until smooth and whisk in chives and salt and pepper to taste. Lightly toast bread and core and slice apple thin.
Spread toast with chive cream and arrange apple slices over cream. Drain mackerel and top each toast with half of fish. (Alternatively, chop apples and flake fish. Stir together apple, fish, and chive cream and spread on toasts.)
Garnish open-faced sandwiches with chives.
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