It’s Black History Month and I am happy to partner with other amazing black food bloggers for this year’s Black History Month Virtual Potluck!
If you missed out on last year just wait and see what everyone is doing this year!
This year I chose to share a recipe that is dear to me, Creole Mackerel Balls w/ Biscuits.
The Heritage of Creole Mackerel Balls
Growing up this was a dish my father used to make my brothers and me. A meal that his father would whip up for his brothers and sisters.
I am sure this is a meal that his father had growing up and stuck with him, which in turn became a dish my father loved, which then led to him passing it down to us.
To this day every time I make this dish, I think of my childhood. The canned mackerel that he would carefully take the bones out and flake up gently making sure to keep the meat intact.
The big blue Pillsbury can of grand biscuits that went into the oven. And you can’t forget the Aunt Jemima pancake syrup and hot sauce on standby. Believe it or not, this was something that we never had at breakfast. For some reason it is a meal that my brothers and I would enjoy for dinner—and it was a good meal at that.
Like anything that is passed down, you tend to add your spin to it. My dad would grate raw potatoes into the mackerel mixture, making sure to drain the liquid—something he said his father didn’t do. But for my take on it, I decided to boil the potato which in turn eliminated the chance of the mixture becoming extremely wet. It also helped with binding everything together.
But, the best thing about this technique is that when you fry your mackerel balls, the roughly chopped potatoes that make their way on the outside develop the most wonderful hash brown-like crust—it’s amazing!
More of the texture comes from rolling your mixture in cornmeal instead of flour for a welcoming crust. Warm syrup, hot sauce, and biscuits bring everything together for the most satisfying simple meal.
The Recipe: Creole Mackerel Balls w/ Cane Syrup
- 1 can of mackerel
- 1 small Yukon potato (1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup onions, diced
- 2 tablespoons celery, diced
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped (white parts as well)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon creole mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
To pan fry:
- 1/4 cup neutral oil
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon of creole seasoning
Serve with your favorite can of biscuits or biscuit recipe.
- Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil, add potato, and cook until fork tender. Remove from water, peel off skin, and rough chop. (Then can be broken apart into pieces or diced). Place aside and let cool.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, add your butter and onions. Let it sauté for 3-4 minutes. Toss in the celery, green onions, garlic, and creole seasoning. Cook for another 3 minutes, and let cool.
- Open up your can of mackerel and dispose of the bones. Gently flake the meat and add to a bowl. Add in the cooked veggies, parsley, hot sauce, creole mustard, kosher salt, cornmeal, potatoes, and egg.
- Gently incorporate all ingredients and form into a ball or patty. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill.
- In a cast iron skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Combine the cornmeal and creole seasoning on a plate and place aside. Remove mackerel balls from the refrigerator and roll/coat with the cornmeal mixture. Place in the skillet and pan fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and you achieve a great crust from the cornmeal.
- Serve with hot biscuits, cane syrup or syrup of choice, and hot sauce!