Fish & Seafood/ Quick & Easy/ Snacks & Fingerfood/ Starters

Smoked Mackerel Rillette & Cucumber Dille Pickle on Mille Feuille

22 December 2022

Looking for a great make ahead hors d’œuvres or snack to serve over the holiday days? Then you should definitely try this one! You can easily make it a day or 2 ahead of time, it’s super easy to put together and an absolute crowd pleaser.

The oily fish works so well in a rillette, flavoured with chives, lemon zest and juice, crème fraiche, pepper and salt and then served on crispy little crackers (mille feuille is just a fancy version of flattened puff pastry) and then the sweet and sour dill and cucumber pickle to counter balance all those flavours. Yum!

Smoked Mackerel Rillette & Cucumber Dille Pickle on Mille Feuille

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Party snack, amuse-bouce, hors d'œuvres, finger food
By Saffron Serves: 60 bites
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes


  • Mackerel Rillette
  • 1 whole smoked mackerel (see notes)
  • 200 ml crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp (Dijon) mustard
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives
  • A good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise (optional)
  • Pepper & Salt
  • Cucumber Dille Pickle
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • Small bunch dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (any kind really, I used wine vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • Mille Feuille
  • 3 squares frozen puff pastry


Mackerel Rillette (make ahead)


Slice open the mackerel at the belly part and fold it open. Carefully slide off the flesh from the mackerel discarding all the fishbones. The best way to do this is to use your hands, this way you can feel all the tiny bones which are harder to see.


Put it in a bowl and break it down with a fork.


Add the crème fraîche, mustard, chives, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest and give it a good mix. Taste and adjust seasoning, also add salt at this stage if you like.


Adding some mayonnaise will make it even creamier, but it's definitely not a must.


And done! Keep in the fridge until ready to use, it will keep for 3-4 days (depending on how fresh the fish was of course).

Cucumber Dill Pickle (make on the day)


Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife slice the cucumber into 1 mm slices, or as thin as you can slice it.


Add it to a sealable jar and add the dill, vinegar, sugar and just enough warm water so that all the cucumber is covered.


Seal the jar, give it a good shake until all the sugar is dissolved and keep cold in the fridge until serving.

Mille Feuille (make upto 1 day ahead, on the day itself it's the best).


Defrost the puff pastry and preheat the oven to 200°C.


Slice the puff pastry into little bitesize squares or rectangles, for example 4 x 5 pieces so you get 20 pieces per square.


Lay the squares on a lined baking sheet, lay an extra piece of baking sheet on top of the puff pastry and place an extra baking tray on top to weigh down the puff pastry.


Bake in the oven for 11 minutes, rotating the tray 180° half way to make sure it's baked evenly.


  • Yu can of course also use smoked mackerel that's already been filleted, I just really like getting all the different kinds of the mackerel meat from a whole mackerel.
  • In stead of mille feuille you could of course just serve it on crostini's, crackers, or bread!

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