Smoked mackerel and quick-pickled shallot toasts
- March 2016
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 20 min, plus up to 24 hours pickling
These canapé toasts make a change from smoked salmon blinis which are so often served at drinks parties and, we think, they taste even better.
- 11.8g (4.1g saturated)
- 15.9g (7.2g sugars)
- 2 small banana shallots, finely sliced into rings
- 120ml red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra
- 2 tsp salt
- About 4 thin sourdough bread slices, cut into 16-20 squares
- 250g smoked mackerel fillets, skin removed
- 1½ tbsp grated hot horseradish, fresh or from a jar (we like English Provender, from larger supermarkets and good delis)
- 5 tbsp crème fraîch
- ½ garlic clove, crushed
- Put the shallots in a small heatproof bowl. Heat the vinegar, caster sugar and salt in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is steaming, then pour it over the shallots in the bowl. Stir to mix, then leave to pickle for at least 45 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Drain the shallots and set aside. Lay the bread on a large baking sheet along with the smoked mackerel fillets. Put the baking sheet under a medium-high grill for 3-4 minutes until the bread is lightly toasted, flip the bread and the fish fillets and grill for 2-3 minutes more, then leave to cool. Once you can handle the mackerel, cut or flake into small chunks to fit on the bread squares.
- Combine the horseradish, crème fraîche and garlic in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread a little of the mixture over the slices of toast, then top with a pieces of smoked mackerel. Add a few rings of shallot on top, grind over a little black pepper, then serve immediately while still warm.
Add any leftover shallots to salads, sprinkle them over grilled meat or fish, or use in burgers.
Pickle the shallots and make the dressing up to 24 hours ahead and chill. Keep the shallots in their pickling liquid, then drain just before serving.
This is a take on the ridiculously great smoked eel sandwich at Quo Vadis restaurant in London. We’ve used smoked mackerel here, which is easier to find, but if you can get your hands on sustainable smoked eel, use that instead.
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