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Mackerel paté with curried onions and lemon

Canape / Party food Starter
Serves 10
Prep 25 min
Cook 35 min

If you want to get ahead, make the onion butter and paté the day before; bring both to room temperature before serving.


2 large onions (400g), peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
200g unsalted butter
4 tsp hot madras curry powder
salt and black pepper
4 hot smoked peppered mackerel fillets (340g), skinned
120g creme fraiche
2½ tsp creamed horseradish (shop-bought is fine)
1¼ tsp cracked black pepper
4 spring onions (80g), thinly sliced; keep 15g sliced greens separate
1 large lemon, zest grated, to get 1½ tsp, and juiced, to get 1½ tsp
10 2cm-thick slices of sourdough, toasted and cut in half at an angle
1 red chilli (20g), cut into thin rounds
1 large lemon, peeled, pith, seeds and membranes removed and discarded, flesh finely chopped
1½ tsp olive oil


  1. First, make the curried onion butter. Put the onions, oil, butter, curry powder and a half-teaspoon of salt in a small saute pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 12-15 minutes, until soft and translucent. Leave to cool for five minutes, then put in a bowl and chill for 10-15 minutes, until the onion mix semi-solidifies.
  2. Meanwhile, put the mackerel in a medium bowl with the creme fraiche, horseradish, cracked pepper, spring onions, lemon zest and juice, and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Mix until just combined – you want some of the fish in chunky pieces – then cover with a plate (or chill, if serving the next day).
  3. Now for the topping: mix the chilli, chopped lemon flesh, olive oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a small bowl.
  4. To assemble, divide the onion butter between the toasts, spreading it on thinly. Spoon mounds of the paté on top, scatter over the reserved spring onion greens, spoon on the chilli and lemon mix, and serve.