Mackerel is a brilliant source of omega-3 but in its pure form, its taste and texture can be a bit robust for little kids. In about 60 seconds, though, you can turn it into a mild (and moreish) paste in which to dip raw veggies or use it as the basis of a toasted sandwich, spread over bread and topped with grated cheese. Our little boy likes it in warmed New Yorker bagels. This recipe's a very inexact science and hard to get wrong so it's perfect for standing back and letting them get on with it. You might have to help peel away the skin from the fish but then it's up to them to add lemon juice and horseradish to taste. Make sure their fingers don't get anywhere near the food processor's blades.
Makes 1 jar
1 pack of smoked mackerel fillets
1 pack of low-fat cream cheese
1 tbsp mild horseradish sauce
Takes 5 minutes
1. Show the kids how to peel the skin off the mackerel with their fingers. Combine the mackerel and cream cheese in a food processor (no need even to rip up the mackerel). Most supermarkets seem to sell mackerel in either 250g or 280g packs so the quantity will effect your seasoning slightly.
2. Add the horseradish, a grind of black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice a little at a time, whizzing it up and using it as a good lesson for your kids in tasting and adjusting seasoning.
3. That's it - store in the fridge for 1-2 days or freeze for up to a month (defrost thoroughly in the fridge before serving then use within 24 hours). Nice as a last-minute jacket potato topping or a pull-together supper from-the-fridge with toasted sourdough, watercress and fresh beetroot.