Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dips and Spreads: "Smokey" Salmon Pâté


This salmon pâté is especially easy to make and doesn't break the bank. With the exception of the smoked salmon, most people have all the other ingredients on hand anyway, which makes your trip to the grocery store that much shorter the week you decide to bring this to your next tailgate. And anything to make cooking easier and fun is fine by me!

I made this recipe with Vol fans specifically in mind. What could be more appropriate than to have a spread with a title to celebrate Tennessee's mascot: Smokey! But this recipe is very versatile--you don't HAVE to used smoked salmon if you would rather use pink salmon for a more natural fresh tasting spread. However, I personally think the smoke flavor of this salmon spread awakens your palate in a way other smoked flavored meats cannot. And paired with the cream cheese and other ingredients, this recipe is a velvety delight to have at any tailgate.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb of smoked salmon (cooked and shredded)
  • lemon juice from 1 large lemon, zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 T of fresh, chopped thyme
  • 3 oz of cream cheese
  • 2 T of unsalted butter
  • 1 teas. cayenne pepper
  • 1 teas. paprika
  • pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
Directions:

Mix salmon, lemon zest and juice and thyme in a bowl with a fork until salmon is evenly coated. (You can choose to use a food processor to make this: add ingredients in the same order but make sure you keep the salmon a little chunky. Not purée.) Next, throw in the paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and mix until salmon is evenly coated. Finally, mix in the cream cheese and butter with a fork until it is all one even consistency--making sure that all of the salmon mixes in with the cream cheese and butter. Toss the pâté into the refrigerator for at least an hour so the flavors can meld together. When you want to serve it, set out at room temperature for 15 minutes before eating.

A note about the smoked salmon itself: I went to Kroger this time for groceries and they did not have canned or bagged smoked salmon, but they did have a thinly-sliced option that you just pop in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees and pull apart when it is done. Super easy and the fact that it was thin strips of salmon made it even more simple for a salmon pâté. I had a lot of fun making this spread and ate mine with Wheat Thins Garden Vegetable crackers and it was delicious. Hope you all support Smokey and enjoy some for yourself!

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