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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Smoked mackerel pâté

One of the things I look forward to about becoming a famous food writer/humanitarian/film critic/wag, is being able to go on Strictly Come Dancing, Dessert Island Discs and Saturday Kitchen. Saturday Kitchen is a relatively innocuous food programme, but here is just something about James Martin’s sweet-natured demeanour and the haphazard live format that I just completely love. My food heaven would probably be globe artichokes or fresh tuna, and my food hell would be bananas, and any form of mashed up fish: fish mousse, fishballs and gefiltefish just completely make me gag. Call me a bad Jew, but Gefiltefish is just the most vile thing in existence.* All except for the surprising wonder that is smoked mackerel pâté.

As well as being absolutely delicious, smoked mackerel pâté is also incredibly easy to make, and a really excellent thing to make as a starter/nibble when you are hosting. A bit of smoked mackerel pâté, toast cut into triangles and wine will keep guests very happy while you faff about in the kitchen.  


4 peppered smoked mackerel fillets, peel the skin off the back (yuck)
100g cream cheese (I used a reduced fat one)
1-2 tbsp crème fraîche to keep it lovely and light (I used a reduced fat one)
Lemon juice to taste, no more than half a lemon’s worth


Put the smoked mackerel fillets in a large bowl and use a couple of forks to flake them up – under no circumstances use anything resembling a food processor. 

Add the cream cheese, stir in a bit, and then add one tablespoon of crème fraîche. Mix together well. Use your judgement to see how thick it is looking and decide if you want to use the second tablespoon of crème fraîche. 

Add the lemon juice and stir, taste and add more lemon juice if you think the pâté needs it.

Works very well with melba toast – recipe coming soon.

*Unlike Gefiltefest, the London Jewish Food Festival, which is completely wonderful. The fifth annual Gefiltefest is being held at the London Jewish Cultural centre on Sunday the 15th of June – save the date! 

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