Smoked Mackerel and Dill Pate with Fennel Crispbreads

Serves 4


250g/9oz skinned and flaked smoked mackerel, 

50g/2oz creme fraiche

100g/4oz cream, cheese

50g / 2oz unsalted butter, melted

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

1-2 tbsp horseradish sauce

3-4 sprigs fresh dill, chopped

Salt & pepper

1 cucumber

Thick balsamic to drizzle

Put the smoked mackerel, crème fraiche, cream cheese, melted butter, lemon zest and horseradish into a food processor and blitz until smooth.  Add salt, pepper, lemon juice to taste and the chopped dill then pulse to combine. Taste and check for seasoning. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag, cut off the end and pipe 4 thick cylinders onto a small baking tray lined with cling film and put in the freezer for 1 hour to firm up.

Remove a strip of peel from the cucumber and then peel 8 neat ribbons off the cucumber.  Dice a little of the remaining flesh to decorate, cover and put in the fridge.

Now use the ribbons to wrap around the pate and refrigerate.

To serve, Place the cucumber wrapped pate on serving plates, scatter a little of the diced cucumber and dill fronds and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar.

To get ahead:The pate can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the fridge.

To freeze:The pate can be frozen up to 1 month ahead.  The cucumber is best done once the pate has been thawed out but still firm.

For the Crispbreads  (makes 8)

125ml/ 4 ½ floz warm water

½ tsp fast action dried yeast

210g/7oz plain flour plus extra to dust

2 tbsp olive oil plus extra

2 tbsp fennel seeds

Sea salt flakes

Pour the warm water into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and mix well.  Allow the yeast to foam, this should take 5 minutes or so.

Sift the flour into a separate bowl and make a well in the centre.  Pour in the yeast mixture, then add the oil and a pinch of salt.  Stir together until a dough forms, the dough should be moist but not too sticky.  Tip the dough onto a floured worktop and knead for 10 minutes or use the dough hook in your machine.  Put in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave in a warm place, such as an airing cupboard for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 180c/fan 160/gas 4 and line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll out thinly to a rectangle roughly 24x10cm/9x4in on a lightly floured surface. Place on the baking sheets, sprinkle with fennel seeds and sea salt and then lightly roll with the rolling pin to push the seeds and salt gently into the dough.  Brush with the olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden.  Leave to cool on wire racks and serve with the pate.

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