1-minute smoked mackerel pâté!

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This is an incredibly quick but insanely good smoked mackerel pâté, and one I have been making for many many years. It helps to buy the smoked mackerel already boned, but you literally just mix it all together to give the most delicious pâté.

The pâté is delightfully coarse, unashamedly rustic, but for a fish pâté I think you need the textures so that it is not some amorphous mass. This is far, far better than the texture-less grey affair you can buy in the shops, and much more economical.

I sometimes add cream cheese to the mixture but to be honest it doesn’t need much cream cheese, if any: just a little mayonnaise or crème fraîche if you want to loosen it and keep it moist, but really that is about it.

Recipe: 1-minute smoked mackerel pâté

  • 300g smoked mackerel, skinned and boned
  • a tablespoon or two at most of mayonnaise, crème fraîche or cream cheese
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of capers, roughly chopped or left whole
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped pickled gherkins or pickled cucumbers*
  • 2-3 heaped teaspoons horseradish sauce (or a few shavings of freshly grated horseradish)
  • a little grated zest and the juice of half a lemon
  • a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • a little fine sea salt, to taste

*I tend to use some of my spiced pickled cucumbers as I always have a jar on the go, but a good quality commercial pickled cucumber works well.

(1) Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together with a fork until combined, leaving some chunks of mackerel.

(2) That’s it! Enjoy….

Uses in baking

  • For a smoked mackerel pâté version of sausage rolls: just use the pâté, mixed with a beaten egg, in place of the sausagemeat. My recipe for these is here.
  • A spoonful onto freshly sliced and either toasted bread or oven-dried bread (bruschetta-style), perhaps with a few chives on top: a wonderful canapé that can be made up in moments.
  • Put a spoonful onto a smallish square of filo pastry and top with a little gooseberry chutney. Bring up the corners to make smoked mackerel parcels, bake for about 15 minutes at 170C(fan) and serve with a simple dip made with crème fraîche and horseradish.
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