Smoked mackerel can be bought or ordered from most good fishmongers – it is always moist and full of flavour. It is good eaten just filleted with lemon juice squeezed over it But for a change this is a delicious way to use it.
Cut the mackerel open and take out the flesh leaving the skin and bones. Arrange the pieces of fish in a shallow dish. Into a bowl put the cream cheese, smoked cod’s roe (if you buy it in a piece take the skin off first) and the lemon juice and mash up very thoroughly with a fork; if you have a liquidiser it is much easier to do it in that and makes a smoother sauce. Add a lot of black pepper and a small pinch of salt and mix it in. Now if it is still very thick gradually add cream or top of the milk until it is creamier and you are able to pour it all over the smoked fish. Decorate with parsley or feathery fennel (fennel is really worth growing either in your garden or even a window box as it is very pretty for decoration and delicious chopped up in salads, sprinkled over cooked vegetables or cooked with fish).
© 1976 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.