As per usual, my beloved and I celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day this past Friday, and happily, my mom felt well enough to join in the festivies. As Wikipedia tells us:
Saint Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. It originated as a Catholic holiday but is now celebrated by Protestants also. It became an official feast day in the early 17th century. Over time, Saint Patrick’s Day has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Irish culture….
Originally, the color associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the color green and its association with Saint Patrick’s day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. In the 1798 rebellion, in hopes of making a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention. The phrase “the wearing of the green”, meaning to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing, derives from a song of the same name.
This year, I decided to try out some new things as part of our celebrations, either with new recipes or by cooking something familiar in a different way.
While the potato famine made potatoes one of the foods synonymous with Ireland, Irish cuisine is also known for its seafood. Inspired by some recipes I found at http://www.ireland.com, I decided to give Cliff Academy: Lesley Keogh’s Smoked salmon pâté a try.
Of course, me being me, I made a few adjustments, mainly substituting Neufchâtel (reduced-fat cream cheese) for the full-fat cream cheese and using dried dill instead of fresh.
Our Saint Patrick’s Day lunch was an al fresco affair with an assortment of Irish cheeses, assorted crackers, fresh fruit, a variety of olives, and this Salmon Pâté, which is now officially one of my favorite things. Oh, and of course, we had some Guinness on hand — because, as we all know, Guinness is good for you! (Please forgive me, as I have absolutely no idea how to get these images to be side by side. *sigh*)
So the next time you are looking for a delicious but special appetizer that comes together 1-2-3, then give this easy, elegant Salmon Pâté a try. Because it calls for equal parts smoked salmon and cream cheese, it’s very easy to make as much or as little as you like! I made mine with 6 ounces of smoked salmon and 6 ounces of reduced-fat cream cheese. I think it might also taste delicious on a bagel — just call it Lox Pâté. 😉
I promise you, it tastes so yummy, you’ll break out into an Irish jig!
- Smoked salmon
- Reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)
- Horseradish to taste (I eyeballed mine — use pure horseradish, NOT the horseradish “sauce” or creamed horseradish)
- Lemon juice to taste (I eyeballed mine)
- Dried (or fresh) dill to taste (I eyeballed mine)
- Place EQUAL PARTS of smoked salmon and cream cheese into a food processor. Season to taste with horseradish, lemon juice, and dill. (Remember, you can always add in more, but you can’t take it out.)
- Whiz together in your food processor until smooth. Taste; add additional seasonings if needed.
- Serve with crackers, cocktail breads, or cocktail-sized toast squares or points. Refrigerate leftovers, tightly covered.
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