Frugal Xmas recipe - Starter
This delicious smoked mackerel pate recipe would make the perfect starter for a Xmas meal - for just £1.16 per person!
Christmas can be a stressful and an expensive time of year, especially if you're cooking for the family on Christmas day (not to mention Boxing Day as well).
I’ve created a menu which is a delicious alternative to the traditional Christmas dinner that I guarantee your family will enjoy, at very little cost.
Over the next 3 weeks I’ll be showing you a starter (today's recipe, below), a main course (one for vegetarians, one for meat-eaters), a delicious Christmas dessert and what to do with the leftovers for a family of six. And all for less than a tenner a person!
Smoked mackerel pate on crostini and red onion confit (Serves 6, total cost £6.94 - £1.16 per person).
Ingredients – The starter
- 600g of smoked mackerel (£4.50)
- 5 large red onions (90p)
- 1 lemon (30p)
- 300ml of crème fraiche (£89)
- 1 fresh granary baguette (35p)
- The cupboard staples (salt, black pepper, olive oil, horseradish sauce and red wine vinegar).
If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, the starter was cheapest to buy from Tesco, where it came to £6.94 - that's £1.16 per head!
- The pate can be prepared on Christmas Eve. Start by flaking the mackerel into a large bowl (discarding the skin and watch out for the bones!). Now mix in the crème fraiche, the juice of half a lemon, two teaspoons of horseradish sauce and season with salt and pepper. Place in the fridge overnight.
- You can also make the red onion confit the day before as well. Slice the red onions and place in a thick bottomed pan with a little olive oil, sauté off until the onions are translucent and you have a little colour on the bottom of the pan – probably about 6 to 7 minutes. Now add salt, pepper, a big pinch of sugar, three tablespoons of red wine vinegar and one tablespoon of water. Reduce down on a very low simmer for about 1 hour until all the liquid has evaporated and you’re left with a sticky red marmalade consistency. Cool down and this can also be placed in the fridge overnight.
- On Christmas day morning you can make the crostini. These really are simple. Slice the baguette on an angle about ½ an inch thick – you’ll get plenty of crostini - I would serve 2 or 3 per person. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place in the oven at 200C for 5 minutes. Let them cool before serving.
- When ready to serve just place a little pate on each crostini and serve with a wedge of lemon and good dollop of red onion confit on the side.
- Happy eating!
A bit about our Chef, Paul Warburton
Paul Warburton had a hectic career in the world of hot kitchens and screaming chefs before joining the lovemoney.com products development team.
During these years, under the tutorage of some great chefs, he honed his skills in cooking for numbers within a tight cost and portion-controlled environment.
What lovemoney.com readers have said about Paul's other recipes
This is a lovemoney.com classic blog, updated for 2011.