Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Of sunshine and summer food...

Spring is here at last!  Funny how in just the few days we were away, all the plants have come to life and the trees are really beginning to go green with blossoms everywhere.  I took this picture on this morning's dog walk - what a pretty colour!

With the sunshine out, I am starting to finally get over my need for comfort food and my taste buds are wanting to taste fresh salads and the like.  Not sure if that - and the sunshine - will last...we'll see.  During our trip we ate the most delicious seafood and fish.  One of the restaurants we went to in the Blue Ridge Mountains was right by a river and on the menu were all kinds of variations of trout.  You really can't get any fresher than that - straight from the river onto the plate (ok - via the kitchen, luckily for us).  I also love smoked fish, in particular mackerel and trout.  Over here we can get packets of smoked mackerel filets for not very much money at all  including lovely varieties such as black pepper or hot smoked. 

Smoked mackerel pate on sourdough bread...
Inspired by our holiday, I made a smoked mackerel pate for lunch today - it was the topping for my open sandwich but it can be used in sooo many different ways (see suggestions in the recipe below).  It takes only a couple of minutes to make, is good for you with all those Omega 3s and is very tasty indeed. 

Smoked Mackerel Pate (1 generous helping)

150g smoked mackerel (or trout)
4 tbsp cottage cheese (low fat or full fat)
1 - 2 tsp horseradish sauce (I love this but it's not essential if you hate it - just leave it out)
a squeeze of lemon juice

Optional:  some fresh dill (I didn't have any)

1. Simply put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and whisk together.  Adjust the seasoning once blended - you may prefer a bit more horseradish, some black pepper etc. 

For a less smooth consistency, use only half the fish when blending and add the rest in flakes just before serving.

You can also mash the ingredients with a fork (if you don't have a food processor or blender) but if that is the case, you may want to remove the skin from the filets first as that will be difficult to mash.

Great as a sandwich/wrap filling, on toast, as a dip with crackers/crudites, on jacket potatoes...


  1. So I've been following your blog for a couple of months now, and always so inspired, but never able to get to the kitchen to try out all the fab ideas you've shared (due to travel abroad for work). Until this week. I tried both the smoked mackeral and red onion chutney recipes that you posted. Both were absolutely delicious... with the pate being the hit of our impromptu dinner party. Thank you so much for sharing!! And all the best to you, Mr Happy Larder and, of course, Keith the dog. x Vince from London

    1. Hi Vince! Oh, I am so pleased you enjoyed both those dishes and that the fish pate even featured at your dinner party :-) It's always so exciting when people try the recipes & like them, so thank you for such lovely feedback. Kirsten x