Everyone needs a quick, easy to make canapé recipe, especially at this time of year. This Smoked Mackerel Pâté takes minutes to whizz up together and is endlessly versatile; it can be spread it on some thin oven toasted slices of baguette, topped it with grated cheese and grilled – super easy and really tasty too. Or, if you don’t want to be bothered with heating them up, you could just top the baguette toasts with the Mackerel Pâté, place half of a pitted black olive and a sprinkle of parsley on top and voila!
If you are having a buffet style table of nibbles, you can also serve the pâté in a bowl, surrounded by slices of baguette. I’ve often served it as a casual starter when I’ve had friends round for supper during the week. Everyone gathers round the table with a drink, to chat and whet their appetites on this pâté while I get on with finishing off the main attraction.
My version includes a little heat from chilli flakes and a warm spicy note from dry roasted cumin seeds – both work so well with the smoky mackerel and the sharpness of the lemon. You can change the spicing to suit your palate, of course.
Smoked Mackerel Pâté
- 3 fillets (approximately 300 – 350g in total) of smoked and peppered mackerel with the skin removed
- 1 tsp dry roasted cumin seeds
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- zest and juice of a lemon (unwaxed) Use half the juice to start with and only add more after you have tasted the pâté, if it needs it.
- 2 Tbsp half fat creme fraiche
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
- Baguette cut into ½ cm slices and toasted on a tray in the oven
- A little grated cheddar cheese
- Break the mackerel into large chunks and place all the ingredients (using just half of the lemon juice to start with) into a food processor. Pulse to combine. Try and keep some of the texture rather than reducing it to a homogenous paste.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary – you may need more lemon.
- Scrape into a container and refrigerate until needed.
- Then, turn on the grill/broiler.
- Cover the slices of baguettine with the pâté, top with a little grated cheddar and place on a baking sheet. Grill/broil until bubbly and browned.
The Smoked Mackerel Pâté also very nice cold topped with a slice of olive, and as a casual starter with a baguette.