Smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill pâté
- February 2014
- 100g full fat cream cheese, such as Philadelphia
- 100g crème fraîche or soured cream
- Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp hot or creamed horseradish sauce
- 200g cold-smoked salmon (trimmings are fine)
- 20g packet of fresh dill, leaves roughly chopped
For the caraway soda bread:
- 400g stoneground wholemeal flour
- 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 550-600ml buttermilk
- Butter for greasing
- For the soda bread, preheat the oven to 230°C/fan210°C/gas 8. Mix the wholemeal and plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, caraway seeds and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and stir in just enough buttermilk so that everything comes together into a soft, slightly sticky dough.
- Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly and briefly until it comes together into a ball. Don’t over-knead the dough as this will make the bread heavy. Shape the mixture into a short, fat sausage shape, then drop into a lightly buttered and well floured 900g loaf tin (about 11cm x 22cm). Slightly flatten the top so it fills the corners, then make a shallow slash lengthways down the centre of the loaf with a small, sharp knife.
- Sprinkle with a little plain flour.
- Bake the loaf on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 and bake for another 25 minutes or until it’s well risen with a rich, golden brown crust. Turn the loaf out of the tin straightaway. It should sound hollow when you tap the base. Cool on a wire rack.
- For the pâté, put the cream cheese, crème fraîche, lemon zest, lemon juice and horseradish into a food processor and whizz together until smooth. You can also do this in a bowl, by hand or with an electric hand mixer. Add the smoked salmon and the dill, then process using the pulse button to make a coarse pâté. If doing by hand, finely chop the salmon and dill, then stir in. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve spread onto slices of the soda bread.
If you’re pressed for time, the pâté takes about 5 minutes to make, so all you need to do then is buy some good bread.
This smoked salmon and dill pâté is also wonderful made with flaked hot-smoked mackerel, but make sure you remove and discard all the skin and any tiny bones before using.
You can make the loaf, allow to cool, then wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before serving. Best served toasted.
If you have any bread left over, keep it wrapped up in cling film and store in a cool dark place for up to 3 days. After the first day it’s better toasted.
The light smokiness of the pâté works with a lightly oaked chardonnay, especially one from Burgundy in France.
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