Mixed Fish Platter with Pickled Cucumber and Red Onion
A lovely, easy starter with gorgeous flavours that’s just down to some clever shopping.
Much of it can be made ahead of time, leaving you to enjoy your guests.
Pickled cucumber and red onion:
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar,2 tbsp caster sugar
1 baby cucumber, pared into thin strips with a vegetable peeler and then halved lengthways, 1 red onion, cut into fine wedges
Smoked mackerel pâté:
225g (8oz) smoked mackerel fillets
73g (3oz) cream cheese,1 tbsp snipped fresh chives, extra to garnish
1 tbsp creamed horseradish
1 tsp prepared English mustard juice of ½ lemon dash of Tabasco
Garlic stuffed mussels:
450g (1lb) fresh mussels, 50g (2oz) butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed, 50g (2oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, squeeze of fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil, knob of butter,1 red chilli, halved, seeded and cut into rings
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced, 12 large raw Dublin Bay prawns, peeled
and cleaned 12 crab claws, ½ lemon, pips removed, 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g (8oz) slices organic smoked salmon
8–12 slices MacNean wheaten bread lemon wedges, to garnish
To make the pickled cucumber and red onion, place the vinegar in a serving bowl and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Add the cucumber strips and onion wedges and toss to coat. Cover with clingfilm and set aside for at least 10 minutes, or up to 8 hours in the fridge is fine.
To make the mackerel pâté, remove the skin from the mackerel fillets and discard any bones, then break up the flesh into a bowl. Add the cream cheese, chives, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice and Tabasco. Mix thoroughly until well combined and season to taste, then transfer to a serving bowl. Chill until needed.