I adore smoked mackerel and will try to shoe-horn it into everything from salads to pastas and soups. However, it's at its most radiant in a paté, when the smoky, rich oiliness isn't distracted by other flavours. Some people add herbs and spices, but I think less is more with this dish. Serve it with toast or rye crackers and a salad or with raw vegetables and quail eggs to to dip into it. Leftovers will last up to 5 days so make a big batch to spoon on top of salads or fold into omelettes.
4 smoked mackerel fillets
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
100g crème fraîche or Greek yoghurt
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Chopped chives, parsley or dill, to serve
A pinch of cayenne, to serve
Gently pull off the skin and remove any lurking bones. Place in a large bowl and use a fork to shred the flakes until you have your desired texture. You can also throw it in a food processor if you think you'd prefer a smoother texture.
Fold in the other ingredients, starting with the juice of half a lemon and using the other half if you feel it needs it. Add a splash of water to loosen if it's quite thick. Season with plenty of pepper and a little add salt to taste. Sprinkle with a few chopped herbs and a pinch of cayenne and serve immediately with hot toast, or cover and chill in the fridge to serve later. Will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.