In an effort to make an almost-traditional Christmas dinner for an episode of The One Show, here’s a seafood starter. Have more, if you want bigger portions – but save some room for dinner and dessert!

Ingredients: serves 8 as a starter

220g Mackerel
100g cream cheese
100g butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp black pepper

200g fresh spinach
1 small loaf fresh baked bread – I used the ‘giraffe’ bread for a change, and it was delicious!

First remove the skin from the mackerel, it should peel off easily with your fingers, and discard. Put the fish into a large mixing bowl, and break up into flakes with a fork or wooden spoon and some elbow grease. Pick out any bones you can see – but small pin-bones are usually fine.

Melt the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds in a heatproof dish, and pour on top of the flaked mackerel. Add cream cheese, pepper and lemon juice and beat well to combine. I added a handful of chopped parsley from my window ledge for colour, it’s not essential.

Press into a lightly greased tin (I find an old butter tub a good size for making pâté!) and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

To serve, cut up the bread (some like it toasted but I like mine soft and fresh) and pop in a bowl in the centre for people to help themselves. Pop a handful of spinach on a plate, turn out the pate, slice, and place on top. Garnish with extra lemon and pepper if you want to make it look pretty!

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @msjackmonroe

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