Smoked mackerel pâté
I couldn’t resist buying a wonderful whole smoked mackerel from the Chelsea fishmonger. It’s a tiny bit more work using a whole fish but the superior flavour is worth the effort.
Simply remove the head, open up the fish to pull out the back bone (which should come away in one piece) and peel back the skin.
Place 250-300g of crumbled smoked mackerel fillet in a mixing bowl. Add 200ml of half-fat crème fraîche, the juice and finely grated zest of one unwaxed lemon and some finely chopped fresh chives. Season the mixture with freshly ground black pepper and mix to combine all the ingredients – it should retain some texture. This is great piled on cucumber discs instead of bread for pre-dinner drinks. It also makes a lovely starter served with piping hot toast.