Skinny dipping …..

by | Dec 4, 2019 | News

Skinny dipping….. with friends

With Christmas around the corner it is always useful to have a few friendly recipes up your sleeve – so to speak – that you can pull together for gatherings and unexpected visitors! And even better if they are recipes that are kind to your waistline as well to your guests.

I really enjoy creating sharing platters & starters that can be more informally enjoyed – before supper or just with drinks. The idea of dips is a good one – easy to make and to share, everyone can help themselves and there is minimal washing up! You can prepare these 2 favourites in advance and both work with lots of fresh veggies – to dip dip dip. Depending on what you have available – endive, carrots, radishes, part-cooked tenderstem broccoli, celery, baby gem lettuce – your guests will enjoy literally ‘digging’ in!

Smoked Mackerel Pate with horseradish – topped with beetroot & spring onions – is a great recipe. Peppered mackerel fillets, mixed with half fat cream cheese, crème fraiche & horseradish to a ‘dipping’ consistency. Can be made well advance and frozen and then ready for use at anytime!

Romesco Dip – roasted red peppers with toasted almonds, sherry vinegar and olive oil. A beautiful red dip with a wonderful, slightly gritty texture and deeply delicious with endive leaves, toast or with roast chicken!

Enjoy the recipes below – and share your ‘skinny dips’ with friends & family. A perfect way to get ready for all the festive frolicking.

SMOKED MACKEREL PATE with horseradish

200-250 g smoked peppered mackerel fillets skinned
2 tbsp cream cheese, half fat
1tbsp crème fraiche, half fat
juice of quarter or half a lemon depending on your taste
1 tbsp horseradish cream
salt & pepper to taste

3 ready cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped

1. Using a food mixer, break up mackerel fillets and add remaining ingredients and mix to a dipping consistency. Adjust seasoning and pour into bowl, or into tupperware for freezer.

2. Before serving top with finely chopped beetroot & spring onions


100g blanched almonds
200g roasted red peppers from a jar, drained
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp sherry vinegar, + extra to season (optional)
1 tsp smoked paprika
50ml olive oil

1. Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan for 3-4 mins until starting to turn golden and smelling toasted. Shake the pan often to turn them. Tip out and leave to cool.

2. Drain the red peppers and tip into a food processor with the almonds, garlic, vinegar and smoked paprika, then blitz to a chunky paste.

3. With the motor still on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a dip. A bit of texture works well for this rather than blending to a super smooth consistency. Season well, adding a little more vinegar, if you like.

For more ideas and recipes – come and join me at my regular cooking demos. Informal groups of up to 8 people, around my kitchen table, tasting and chatting. A 2 course lunch/supper is included along with welcome coffee & homemade cakes, recipes to take home and lots of inspiration!



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