Smoked mackerel pate


This is always a popular starter or light lunch. Pate is something that most people don’t think of making themselves, but as you can see it’s insanely easy. Don’t let it intimidate you: start with these measurements, then taste it – if you want more capers in there, put them in. More of a horseradish kick? Another half or whole teaspoon. It’s your pate, play around with it so it tastes right to you.

This freezes well – freeze it in portions that you know you’ll eat within two days.

2 fillets smoked mackerel
1 teaspoon horseradish sauce
1.5 tablespoons creme fraiche
2 teaspoons capers
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
lots of black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon chopped dill (about two stems – fronds and stalks)
1/2 a clove of garlic, crushed (remove the green shoot from the middle if there is one)

Remove the skin from the mackerel fillets. Throw everything into a food processor and whizz until smooth – smoked fish is already salted so you won’t need to add more salt.

If you don’t have a food processor you can still make this – chop everything as finely as you can; mash the mackerel fillets into the creme fraiche with a fork or potato masher, and then stir through the other ingredients.

Chill for an hour or so before serving (not essential but improves the texture).