Smoked Mackerel Pate

The Twelve Recipes of Christmas

Dawn: (Singing) On the eighth day of Christmas,

My true Love Food sent to me

Eight maids a-milking…

Andrew: I’m getting quite used to this now!

Dawn: Excellent! I’d hate for you not to be getting into the swing of things!

Andrew: So, eight maids a-milking and what of the Twelve Recipes of Christmas are they bringing, do tell?

Dawn: All will be revealed!

Drum roll, curtains lift to reveal…

Dawn: A deliciously simple smoked mackerel pate recipe…so simple…it’s utterly delish!



Serves 4

400g Smoked mackerel fillets (boneless)

200g soft cheese (low fat version)

1 and a half lemons, freshly squeezed (or bottled juice)

1 anchovy fillet

Salt and pepper to season


  • Remove the skin from the smoked mackerel fillets and any bones that you can see.
  • Put the smoked mackerel, soft cheese, anchovy fillet and lemon juice into a food processor and blitz until the ingreiients are combined.
  • Taste and season. Blitz quickly to mix the seasonings into the mixture.
  • Pot up into four ramekins and serve either with crispbreads, toast or a salad.

IMG_3735Andrew: That is simple – and mmm…delicious (reaches for a second pot of smoked mackerel pate)

Dawn: Thanks. It was a concoction I created wanting something different than turkey at this special time of year.

Andrew: This certainly tastes very special, indeed.

Dawn: And mackerel is packed full of those lovely omega-3 oils that are so good for our metabolism, wellbeing and general health. 

Andrew: Here’s to celebrating this Christmas season with deliciously simple food and drinks that are good for us.

Dawn: I’ll drink to that (clinks glasses of tasty treats yet to come on this blog!)

For more in this series of festively inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find us on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!




Leftover Turkey Caesar Salad

And the Twelve Recipes of Christmas continues with…

Dawn: (singing merrily) On the seventh day of Christmas, my true Love Food gave to me…

Andrew: What, pray tell?

Dawn: On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me seven swans a-swimming…

Andrew: Dawn…

Dawn: Ops! Got carried away for a minute then! I love singing! As you know!

Why, a wee recipe called: Leftover Turkey Caesar Salad!

Andrew: Sounds a great way of using up any leftover turkey.

Dawn: Indeedy! And without further a-do…the recipe!


Serves 2

2 Kos lettuces (seperated and washed)

2 slices of wholemeal bread, crusts cut off and cut into 1cm squares

2 Bacon rashers (smoked or unsmoked)

50-75g Turkey torn into strips

Shavings of Parmesan cheese (or any extra mature cheese)

For the Dressing

50ml fresh cream (single or double) or very low fat natural yoghurt

1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tbsps olive oil

2tsps Worcester sauce

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 anchovy fillets, in olive oil

Salt and pepper to season


  • Add a splash of olive oil to a frying pan and place on a medium heat. Allow the oil to heat up and when hot, toss in the bread squares. Keep stirring them around only they are golden brown in colour all over. Once golden brown, set aside to cool.
  • Next the bacon: either dry fry the rashers in the frying pan making sure you keep an eye on them so they don’t stick or grill them until they are cooked. Once cooked, set aside to cool and when cool, break into bite-size pieces.
  • Put the washed lettuce leaves in a bowl.
  • Next, prepare the dressing by putting all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and give them a quick blitz. Season.

Dawn: If you don’t have a food processor, put all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together by hand.

  • Pour the dressing over the lettuce leaves and toss the bowl so that all the leaves are covered.
  • Now add the turkey and mix with the lettuce.
  • Add the bacon and the bread squares, and the cheese shavings. Season to taste and serve.

Andrew: A simple and effective way of using leftover turkey.

Dawn: Yes, Andrew, and the dressing makes for a really authentic Caesar salad taste.

Andrew: It’s the anchovy fillets that do.And not a raw egg in sight!

Dawn: Very authentic tasting and a great way of kicking off a healthier eating programme if you are looking at watching the scales on 1 January.

For more in this series of festively inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find us on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!








How to Roast a Turkey

The Twelve Recipes of Christmas

One the fifth day of Christmas, my true Love Food gave to me…

…a terrifically simple recipe for roast turkey for the coming New Year’s Eve celebrations!

Dawn: And there’s five rings of truth in that statement…get it, Andrew?

Andrew: Indeedy, I do! So what are we doing this year with the turkey, Dawn?

Dawn: Sitting comfortably?

Andrew: Yep!

Dawn: Then I’ll begin!



1 turkey (size dependent upon how may people you wish to feed)

1 pack of streaky bacon (unsmoked)

A knob of butter

Salt and pepper to season


  • First, remove any packaging that the turkey may be wrapped in.

Dawn: This seems obvious but there’s a reason to highlight this. Do not wash the turkey but instead, turn it upside down on a large piece of baking foil.

  • Preheat the oven gas mark 6/200º C.
  • Next, take some of your prepared stuffing and place in the neck cavity of the turkey being mindful not to cram it too much that there’s no space for it to breath.IMG_3316
  • Once the stuffing is inside the turkey, turn the turkey the other way up so that the breasts side is facing you. Carefully lift the turkey in the foil and place in a large enough baking tin leaving the foil draped either side.
  • Taking the knob of butter, spread this across the breast side of the turkey.
  • On top of the butter, carefully place strips of the bacon making sure the majority of the turkey’s flesh is covered.IMG_3337

Andrew: The butter and bacon ensures the turkey meat doesn’t become dry in the long cooking process.

Dawn: Yes, they do and with any leftover stuffing mix, simply divide the mixture equally and form into balls. Place in the baking tin alongside the turkey.

  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • With the baking foil that’s draped either side of the baking tin, gather the foil to create a small tent-like construction so that air can circulate in the cooking process.
  • Place in oven and allow to cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to gas mark 3/160º C and roast until cooked.

Andrew: Remember to keep basting the turkey throughout the roasting time.

  • Remove the turkey from the oven. Test the juices! Skewer the breast, thighs and lower body. This is ABSOLUTELY essential. The juices should run clear.
  • For each 1lb/500g the turkey weighs, add 15-20 minutes to the cooking time.
  • If the juices are not clear, return the turkey to the oven.
  • For the last 15-20 minutes of roasting, remove the foil to crisp the skin.
  • Leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Dawn: The turkey was introduced into Britain in the 16th century but it was the Victorian period that roast turkey really became so popular as a main Christmas Day course.

Andrew: Yes, that’s true, Dawn and another popular method at the time to retain the meat’s moisture through the cooking process was to use butter and honey, melted and then poured over the turkey creating a honey-roasted turkey for dinner.

Dawn: Delicious! And speaking of delicious, I have a Cook’s Cheat Idea here for pigs in blankets. Buy your favourite sausages and streaky bacon. The day before, simply take each individual sausage and wrap with the streaky bacon. Then simply chop up to the required length and add to the turkey just before you pop it in the oven.

Andrew: Great idea, Dawn!

For more in this series of festively inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find us on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!