Indulgent dinner party: the starter

A while ago, I did a series of blog posts about doing a dinner party on a budget. Well, last night I had a few friends over and decided to opt for a more indulgent menu…While these three courses are slightly more expensive (more like £10 a head for all 3 courses – so not outrageous) the idea is that you can mix and match to create your perfect dinner party within your allocated budget. This starter/canape is honestly heaven in a mouthful.  Sadly I cannot take the credit as it was Henry’s mum, who is the most fantastic cordon bleu trained cook, who whipped up this fish pate first. I was blown away by how simple and delicious this recipe is and just had to recreate it, so here goes…

  • 1 tub of philly
  • 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 pack of smoked salmon (between 100 – 180g is perfect)
  • Ikura which you can buy online here or here and/or lumpfish caviar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • pepper

For the melba toast:

  • Thick sliced bread, I love Vogel

First thing to do is to combine your philly and creme fraiche and give it a beat so that it loosens and is smooth. Then chop up your smoked salmon, spring onions and stir through the cream cheese mix before adding the fish roe.

Fish roe pate

This recipe is actually only meant to be made with only the ikura (salmon roe), but when I went shopping the night before my dinner party, I couldn’t find the ikura anywhere so panicked and bought the lumpfish caviar. The next day, I popped into a Japanese supermarket on the off chance they might have it and they did…so I ended up doing both types of roe as didn’t want to waste any. The moral of the story… it’s probably worth buying online in advance, but the Japanese supermarket ikura  does taste amazing, as does the Fortnum’s version. There have been mixed reviews about the Ocado version, but it’s ultimately the decision is in your hands.

Fish roe pate

Fold in your caviar using a metal spoon as you don’t want it to break up as you combine all the ingredients. Squeeze over the lemon juice and give it a good grind of pepper (no salt as the roe and smoked salmon are very salty.) Leave this to stand in the fridge while you make your melba toast.

Fish roe pate

All you have to do is toast your bread as normal. Then slice it down the middle so that you are left with two thin halves. Grill the un-toasted side in the oven for a couple of minutes and voila!

Melba Toast

Make small quinelles of your fish pate using two teaspoons and then drop onto a triangle of melba toast for a canape, or just pile the toast into a rack, whack it on the table, pass round the bowl of pate and let people help themselves for a starter. It looks fab, with the orange ikura adding such a vibrant colour, and it’s so simple you can even make it the night before!

Fish roe pate

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