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3 Mar 2023

Mother’s Day recipe – smoked mackerel rillette, croutons and salsa

Nothing says ‘I love you mum’ more than cooking them a delicious homemade meal. Head Chef Scott Murdoch shares a simple but special dish from Culzean Castle & Country Park.

Our Head Chef at Culzean Castle & Country Park, Scott Murdoch first came up with this dish while he was working in Cornwall as a sous chef, at a restaurant which offered a five-course tasting menu for lunch. Scott used to smoke his own mackerel, as every day the local fisherman would deliver it fresh to the restaurant. Just as we do at Culzean, the restaurant also had its own walled garden, from which Scott would pick ingredients to use in the kitchen, including beautiful cherry tomatoes growing in the greenhouse. Since then, Scott has used this dish in every place he has worked as it’s so simple to prepare – and very, very tasty!

The smoked mackerel rillette features on our wedding menu here at Culzean, and Scott will be serving the dish for Mother’s Day as a special.


Smoked mackerel rillette


  • 500g smoked mackerel
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 10–25g coriander
  • Lemon juice 1/2
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 55–75g shallots


  1. Skin the mackerel and remove any bones.
  2. Finely dice the shallots, and roughly chop the coriander.
  3. Add into bowl and mix all ingredients together, until it has a coarse pate-like consistency.

Garlic croutons


  • Baguette (alternatively use sliced bread, cut into two triangles)
  • Oil
  • Garlic, thyme, salt and pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Slice half a baguette into 1cm-thick pieces.
  3. Make an oil with garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the croutons with the garlic oil until golden.

Tomato caper salsa


  • 1 tomato (skinned and seedless)
  • Handful of baby capers
  • 1/4 diced shallot
  • 10g coriander
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 1 spoonful of tomato chutney
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Finely dice the tomato and shallot
  2. Mix all ingredients together to make salsa

To serve

Head Chef Scott Murdoch makes three quenelles of the mackerel rillette, places the croutons on top, then garnishes with salsa around the plate and a herb salad in the centre. Alternatively, serve the mackerel rillette in a mason jar or small dish with a side of garlic croutons or toasted bloomer and salad.

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