Super simple Mackerel Pate

Essentially this is a 3 ingredient, almost instant, pate. That’s right this is basically smoked mackerel, lemon and cream cheese.

It’s perfect in this it’s simplest form but I do like to tinker with my recipes, so I’ve come up with a few variations over the years.

I’m going to share my favourites with you. You’re welcome. But I say go a little off-piste, experiment and have fun making this your own.

Simple Mackerel Pate Recipe

Serves 4 – 6, depending on appetite

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of smoked mackerel
  • A couple of tablespoons of cream cheese (I use full fat)
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

Extras you might like to try, although I wouldn’t recommend adding all of them at the same time…

  • Capers
  • Jalapenos (from a jar) chopped
  • Mild fresh red chilli chopped
  • Finely chopped chives
  • Chopped parsley
  • Finely chopped red onion or spring onion
  • Loads of freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • First of all remove the skin from the mackerel and any larger bones.
  • Now put all of your ingredients into a bowl and mash. Add more cream cheese if it isn’t creamy enough for you. And voila, you’ve made mackerel pate.

To serve…

  • Fresh baguette (buy par-baked and you can enjoy it still warm from the oven)
  • Wholemeal toast triangles
  • Oatcakes
  • Crackers
  • Celery sticks
  • Apple slices (I love apple with smoked fish)
  • Or just slather it into a sandwich and pile with salad leaves

Caramelised Onion Hummus

My children seem to hungry all the time. We eat breakfast and they’re already thinking about lunch and there’s no way they can make it to dinner without a hearty snack. Well let’s be honest neither can I. But I do need to be ready with a quick, healthy snack idea to stop the kids reaching for a bag of crisps.

Hummus is a perfect snack and a great way to get in a good helping of veg with all those lovely crudites. I love any kind of hummus but I think caramelised onion is my favourite. This is really easy to make. The onions are ready in 10 minutes and then it’s just a case of blitzing everything together.

Caramelised Onion Hummus

Serves 6 – 8

Keeps well, covered in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 3 tablespoons of tahini
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Method

  • Heat your oil in a small pan and gently fry your onion for 5 minutes until it’s soft. Then stir in the sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes. It should now be nicely caramalised but still soft rather than crispy.
  • Pop all of the ingredients, including the onion, into a blender and blitz. Add water a tablespoon at a time until you have the right texture. I like it quite course so that it still has a little texture but blend this until smoother if you prefer.

To Serve

Here are a few things I like to eat with this delight:

  • Chopped raw veg like carrots, celery, peppers, baby sweetcorn, cucumber
  • Cooked veg such as potato or sweet potato wedges
  • Bread sticks
  • Sturdy bread like ciabatta
  • Crackers
  • Slathered on cooked corn on the cob
  • Spread on sandwiches or wraps
  • On toast with a poached egg
  • Served with a simple cous cous salad