Smoked mackerel pâté with cranberry, lime and ginger on Melba toasts

Danny Kingston serves up these pretty smoked mackerel canapés — perfect for Christmas. These bites are all about balancing the rich smoked mackerel with light and sharp pickled ginger, cranberries and lime zest.

First published in 2015

This really is a very simple, frugal canapé to rustle up for get-togethers. The richness of smoked, oily fish goes brilliantly with the tart and warm flavours that you get with the cranberry and pickled ginger. You could use shop bought cranberry sauce but that can still be a little too sweet and cloying for this mouthful. The idea is to keep everything light and fresh. The Melba toast can be made in advance (as with everything else) so there is no last minute rushing, just an easy assembling. I do have to say though, regarding the curly Melba slices, this is the only time that cold toast is acceptable in my house. It must always be served warm otherwise. Always.






First make the pâté by flaking the smoked mackerel fillets from their skins into a food processor, along with the cream cheese and sour cream and pulse until relatively smooth. Taste for seasoning and then add the dill and a squeeze of juice from one of the limes. Pulse again, only briefly, to mix everything together then transfer to a bowl and chill
To prepare the cranberries, put in them a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water and just a pinch of caster sugar. Place the pan on the hob over a medium heat and cook gently for 6–8 minutes, just until the berries begin to collapse and soften. Take off the heat and leave to cool
When ready to assemble, toast the slices of bread evenly on both sides under a grill and with a sharp knife trim the crusts off. Then slide your knife carefully and horizontally through the middle, into that thin strip of uncooked bread, and then cut into strips. Place the untoasted sides back under the grill and make sure you keep an eye on the them, they will toast and curl quite quickly
Take the mackerel pâté out from the fridge and spoon a healthy dollop on the ends of each Melba slice. Add the small collapsed cranberry on top and then a pinch of sliced sushi ginger. Finish by grating over the zest from the remaining lime
First published in 2015

Danny is a food adventurer, home grower, supper club host and writer of the entertaining and quirky epicurean blog, Food Urchin.

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