Norwich used to have a lovely bakery on Timber Hill that sold the most gorgeous loaves and made them into toasties and tartines (open sandwiches) for lunch. One of the tartines had mackerel pâté with cream cheese, dill and capers. I hadn’t come across this combination before but I’m glad I did. It’s easy to recreate at home and makes a great weekend breakfast or lunch.
I’ve specified weights for the ingredients but if you use more mackerel or less cream cheese it doesn’t make much difference. The mackerel pâté will top 8 slices of bread from a small bakery style loaf so I keep leftovers in the fridge to eat the next day or later in the week as there are only two of us.
I use capers and dill if I have them but they aren’t ingredients that I always keep in my fridge. The topping at its most basic consists of cream cheese, mackerel and beetroot but other ingredients are welcome to join in. For the sandwich in the photograph I added chopped sun-dried tomatoes, rocket and parsley and if I have any creme fraiche I’ll add a tablespoon to the pâté to lighten it but it's another ingredient that I don't always have. Any kind of pre-cooked smoked mackerel (black pepper, honey or plain) will work well in the pâté.
- 200g pre-cooked, smoked mackerel fillets
- 125g cream cheese (half or full fat)
- juice from half a lemon
- black pepper
- 8 thick slices of bread (around 200g, from a bakery style loaf, toasted if you like)
- ½ pack cooked beetroot, cubed (around 100g, in vinegar if you like)
- small handful rocket
- extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)
- Remove the skins from 200g of mackerel fillets, remove any visible bones and give the mackerel a rough chop. Add to a bowl along with 125g of cream cheese, the juice from half a lemon and a pinch of black pepper (if your mackerel isn’t already peppered). Mix well.
- Spread onto 8 slices of bread, top with 100g of cubed beetroot and a little rocket then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.