In event terms, the creation of a batch of Mackerel Pate in the Ovenden household is a high ranker. Normally it resides in an old souffle dish in the fridge to spread across toast as and when the need arises, but I've adapted it slightly to make it into individual servings.
Makes enough to fill 3 ramekins
250g Smoked Mackerel fillets
150g Cottage cheese
75g Unsalted butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A good grating of fresh horseradish root
Salt & pepper
Melt 25g of the butter in a pan. Peel the skin off the mackerel fillets and flake into a bowl, removing any bones you spot along the way. Use a wooden spoon to crush the fish to a paste, then pass the cottage cheese through a seive into the bowl. Add the melted butter, lemon juice, horseradish and seasoning, then mix everything together. Spoon into ramekins; stop about 5mm from the top and level off with the back of a spoon.
To clarify the butter, slowly melt the remaining butter in a pan and skim the foamy milk solids off the surface with a spoon. Carefully pour the clear yellow butterfat into a jug - make sure that the sunken cloudy layer at the bottom of the pan doesn't come with it. Slowly pour the clarified butter over the pate-filled ramekins. A bay leaf pushed into the seal before the butter sets looks dead posh like.