Scottish Smoked Salmon Pate, What A True Delight!

By Neil Muir (NEILMUIR1) on May 19, 2011

This wonderful dish is very easy to make indeed, yet is so versatile. Eaten simply with toast or oat cakes it tastes delicious. It can also be a fantastic starter to a main course or a light lunch in the hot weather. For Holidays and celebrations it is a lifesaver as it can be made the day before, and served up quickly. This is also useful should a friend or an unexpected guest come to visit. But once tasted you may be loath to part with it, after the gorgeous smoky taste, of this simple dish.

With the exceptionally hot weather we have been having in the UK, I thought it might be a good idea to make some of this simple pate. It is so useful as it keeps in the fridge for up to a week if covered well with plastic film\cling film. As I always have herbs growing in the garden to garnish the pate with, if someone does pop in it is easy to serve him or her a light lunch that looks amazing and tastes lovely. Yet to be honest is very easy to make. Here is a selection of Ramekin dishes in different sizes, you will need some of these to make this dish or you could make one large one in a bowl. There is no real standard size for Ramekin dishes. For people have Imperial size ones and now the stores have changed to metric, so unfortunately confusion as normal reins. The small white one in the foreground will make 8 portions. The other ones you have to experiment with till you know how much they use. This is not a hardship as this means there may be some left for the cook! The picture on the right is the Ramekin dishes after the insides have been buttered, this is essential unless you use plastic/cling film otherwise the pate will stick.

To Enlarge a Picture Please Just Click On It.

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Here I am using Scottish Smoked Salmon because it is what we get, but this dish works on any smoked salmon from wherever it comes from and smoked Trout. Let us get started and have some fun. The main ingredients are in the left picture and are as follows.

9 oz of good quality smoked salmon.

4oz of cream cheese. Use Philadelphia if you have no local cream cheese. Either plain or mixed with 2 tbsp of chives, dill, chervil, or whatever your taste is (Herbs are optional).

2 tbsp of Double or thick cream.

Juice of half a lemon.

Black pepper or you could use a touch of cayenne pepper.

TIP: Before you even add any salt at all taste the smoked salmon and cheese. Some smoked salmon can be very salty indeed and the cheese can be as well. So go on the side of extreme caution unless you know exactly what it tastes like salt wise. I do not add salt to mine at all as it is salty enough for me. You can put salt in but you cannot take it out, so just be careful. The picture on the right is my grandmas Victorian glass juicer (1887), still in use after all these years.

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Now put all the ingredients in a food proccessor or if you have not got one you will have to chop them all up and do it by hand. Pulse until you get the constituency you require. I prefer mine a bit rougher, where as some people like a smooth pate. Then once that is done start to fill your dishes. Add a small amount at the bottom first and push well in to get any air out. Just keep going to it overflows the top just. Then with a palette knife scrape off and smooth the top. The picture on the left shows the filled one, on the right the smoothed ones. Once finished cover with plastic/cling film and place in your fridge. You can leave it for a couple of hours depending on how cold your fridge is, but overnight is preferable.

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If you have used plastic/cling film you can pull it straight out and it should with a bit of shaping come out. However it may have a few crinkles in it, which is the problem with plastic/cling film. If you use buttered dishes the next problem is how to get the pate out! Well the answer is quite simple as you need a bowl of hot water. You dip the Ramekin dish in the the hot water making sure none gets in the pate for 30-40 seconds. This melts the butter on the inside of the dish and allows the pate to slip out, in theory! Put a plate over the top of the dish and turn it upside down and then give it a shake it should come out. If not put it back in the hot water for anther 20 seconds, then it will. Now to serve it, on the left is the one done in plastic/cling film. This is served with prawns/shrimps, wholemeal toast, round butter slices, dill and for decoration a Rose tomato.

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If you so wish you can leave the pate in the dish and let people have their own to take out as they wish. Here is one in a buttered dish done this way!

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Now for a large one done in a buttered dish with a difference. The almost volcanic red on the top is smoked paprika, which you may have seen in the red tin in many of the pictures including the one on the right. This slightly hot and aromatically smoky spice is lovely if used sparingly with this dish. What a combination!

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Something for the more daring ones, amongst you. This one is topped with Homemade Mayonnaise mixed with some sweet Thai chili sauce. This does not overpower the salmon if used with caution.

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Of course if you are on your own and the sun is past the yardarm then this must be the ultimate. Use any of the pates you want with a plate of Scottish raspberries and thick whipped cream, plus of course a wee Dram!


It is a case of using your own imagination once you have made the pate. For most people in the world are far more artistic than I am. So once you have made it have some fun and see what you can do with the combinations and garnishes. The pate is even lovely with Asparagus and a Hollandaise sauce. Amaze your family, friends and guests who look and think what an amazing, tasty and complicated dish. You can smile, as you know it is in fact simple, as some of the best foods in the world are!

Have Fun.




For Nancy, and if you can't make this I give up!

Related articles:
Chervil, dill, Hollandaise sauce, homemade mayonnaise, how to make smoked salmon pate, ideas for serving it.Chives, pictures, Ramekin dishes, Smoked salmon pate

About Neil Muir
I started as a seven year Apprentice for a Parks Department on the London\Kent borders. Going to college one day a week and working in the varied Victorian parks, gardens and nurseries five days a week.
After this I worked for many large estates and became Head Gardener in different locations. However with the growing use of pesticides and herbicides I went back to University, primarily to study Conservation and Ecology, but relevant to the now growing organic movement in the UK. After 28 years in Horticulture due to an accident I was informed I could no longer do the physical work involved and was retired. I love supporting the Great British Gardens we have in our small island, and cooking the traditional food of this Country. My hobbies are listening to bagpipe music, steam trains and model making, plus of course gardening.

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Comments and discussion:
Subject Thread Starter Last Reply Replies
the Pate' for the Party'--- Ha ha!! Petalpants May 26, 2011 12:22 PM 3
Never give, Neil! Happy_1 May 22, 2011 6:31 AM 18
Wonderful Ridesredmule May 22, 2011 4:38 AM 48
Smoked Salmon Pate murielw1 May 21, 2011 1:48 AM 4
Tempting CajuninKy May 20, 2011 12:14 AM 12
Irresistible Aguane May 19, 2011 11:01 AM 3

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