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Make this - and whatever happened to smoked mackerel?

I'm on a bit of a Nigel Slater roll at the moment. Most of tonight's family dinner is going to be Nigel Slater, with a bit of Curtis Stone thrown in - the melon salad.

Anyway - last night I made this - it's supposed to be Smoked mackerel pie - and I think I mentioned it recently somewhere. What we have here on my serving platter, though is a smoked trout and smoked ocean trout pie because there is no smoked mackerel to be found.

Back in my dinner party days, a smoked mackerel was a tried and true appetiser. You just bought the mackerel, put it on a plate, decorated it with lemon slices and let people dig in. I think I usually served it with slices of pumpernickel bread, which I assume you can still get, but maybe not. I haven't had any for a long time. And of course I took the skin off first.

Smoked mackerel has a different, stronger taste to smoked trout, and I suspect the pie would have been even better made with it. Or maybe with kippers would be good.

Or chicken even?

It was ridiculously easy to make. Just mix your flaked fish with mustard, tarragon, parsley and crème fraiche. Mound it on to a piece of puff pastry, top with another piece, brush with egg and cook. Not particularly healthy I have to say, so we did eat it with a green salad, and I did also add a few frozen peas to the mix, but I have to say that it looked magnificent and it tasted really, really nice. A keeper.

And infinitely variable really.

A quickie, because of last night's dinner - and so I didn't quite finish it yesterday.

And a PS - the dinner was really good as well. Not a scrap remained to lurk in the fridge for days. They loved the melon salad. Well loved it all really.


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