Saturday, April 05, 2008

Smoked mackerel pâté

Whilst I love going all out when entertaining and spending time creating three, or even four courses to laze over, the truth of the matter is that I don't really have enough plates, knives or forks to allow this. Or rather, I do, but they don't all go together. Furthermore, I have a 'slimline' dishwasher which most certainly doesn't fit all the paraphenalia dirtied by serving multiple courses for eight. Call me selfish, but I loathe washing up.

What I tend to do therefore, is serve a maincourse and pudding (occasionally two) and then make some substantial eatie bits for everyone to tuck into with drinks before siting down to the main event. Sometimes this means getting small and dainty with some
nice canapés, but more often than not I'll make something a bit more hearty for everyone to dig into in a messy, informal sort of way. Pâté of some kind or other is usually my top choice, served with wedges of crusty bread - people can just dig in and have as much as they want. Usual favourites are chicken liver or smoked trout. Last week, I dished up the usual favourite chicken liver but decided to make a smoked mackerel version as well.
I was really pleased with this moreish treat - the leftovers didn't last long the next day and it was clear that my furry companion for the day was rather put out that I'd scoffed the lot without so much as a sideways glance...
Smoked mackerel pâté
serves 8 as a starter


3 smoked mackerel

200g soft cream cheese (I used half-fat Philadelphia)

1 heaped tablespoon low-fat natural yoghurt

1 heaped tablespoon horseradish sauce (more or less to taste)

handful chopped spring onions or chives

small handful chopped parsley

juice of half a lemon

1. Remove skin and any obvious bones from the mackerel, flake with a fork.

2. Place in food processor along with all the other ingredients and blitz until you have a reasonably smooth consistency (I like a few lumps in mine so tend to leave it quite chunky - you could even mash everything together in a bowl rather than using the processor).

3. Taste. Season with black pepper. Add more lemon juice if required.

4. Serve with melba toast, crusty bread or toasted pittas.


Sylvie said...

I like informal appetizers to start a meal with. The pate looks very simple to make and I bet it tastes great.

Wendy said...

Love mackerel pate.
Who's the cutie?

Lore said...

I think this is one trully delicious toast spread! Could I have this for breakfast tomorrow? Pretty please :)

Cakelaw said...

Delicious - smoked salmon is a favourite of mine, and this looks like a perefct way to serve it.

Rosie said...

I just love nice canapés too Antonia and your mackerel pate sounds and looks perfect!!

Oooooooh and what a cute furry friend :)

Rosie x

Antonia said...

Sylvie - so easy to make, literally made in minutes, and yet delicious. My idea of the perfect starter!

Wendy - she is called Coco. Sadly, not mine. I was just dogsitting for the day - she spent most of the day curled up in front of the fire and hoovering up crumbs from my kitchen floor. She belongs to a great friend of mine and usually goes to work with her on her moped!

Lore - If only I hadn't eaten the lot up greedily, of course you could have some for breakfast!

Cakelaw - I think it is probably my favourite way to serve it, though I'm very keen on smoked mackerel fish cakes too.

Anonymous said...

We make this a lot, I love smoked's so versatile isn't it? I haven't tried it with horseradish in pate though (although I do add that to my fishcakes) so will try to remember next time...thanks!

LisaRene said...

Hi Antonia, Cute little dog! I know you enjoy horseradish and thought I would bring to your attention a horseradish salt encrusted beet recipe I found on epicurious and just posted about.

Also, we did open a bottle of Alsace Pinot Gris to go along with a mustard/wine pasta dish, the horseradish beets and some smoked cheeses. My husband added some smoked salmon to his plate as well. Thank you for the recommendation it was very nice to try a new wine. My husband totally appreciated the wine with his smoked salmon and I enjoyed it as well with my pasta and smoky cheese.

The Alsace Pinoit Gris was much heavier and smoother then Italian or US Pinot, it was almost buttery in texture. I imagine that is why you suggested it with oily salmon. Thank you, it was fun to try your suggestion!

We also bought a Sancerre and will try that the next time my husband craves smoked salmon :)