smoked mackerel rillettes with rye crisps

serves4 as a generous starter or light lunch.
hands-on time 15 min, oven time 10-20 min

This is a super-easy dish. Rillettes are spread on toast and are similar to a coarse pâté. They're usually made with fatty pork (or duck), but I love making rillettes with fish. This recipe also works well with smoked salmon.

make ahead
Bake the rye crisps several days ahead and store in an airtight container. The mackerel rillettes will keep for 2 days, covered in the fridge.
If making your own rye crisps (step 1) slice the bread very thinly or they will be too hard to eat once baked. You may need extra toast as there's a lot of rillettes. Don't add any salt until you've combined all the ingredients (step 2) as smoked mackerel can be salty.

8-12 very thinly sliced pieces of rye bread (see tips) or store-bought rye crisps
200ml crème fraîche
2 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
Squeeze fresh lime juice
½ tsp horseradish sauce (optional)
300g smoked mackerel fillets

to serve
¼ small fennel bulb
½ apple
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fresh pea shoots

you'll also need...
4 individual serving glasses or small jars

1 If using rye bread, heat the oven to 140°C/ 120°C fan/gas 1. Bake the rye slices on a baking tray (see tips) for 10-20 minutes until completely dry (see Make Ahead).

2 Mix the crème fraîche with the mustard, chives, lime juice and horseradish (if using). Remove and discard the skin from the mackerel and flake the fish into the crème fraîche mixture. Stir just until mixed (I like my rillettes with chunky bits) or mix a while longer until smoother. Check for seasoning and add black pepper to taste (see tips). Spoon into the serving glasses/jars and chill until ready to serve (see Make Ahead).

3 When ready to serve, slice the fennel and apple very thinly, ideally using a mandoline. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to stop the apple going brown, then mix well. Serve the apple and fennel salad with pea shoots, the mackerel rillettes and the rye toast.

per serving 527kcals, 39.2g fat .5g saturated), 21.4g protein, 20.7g carbs (3.7g sugars), 2.2g salt, 32g fibre