First of all there really is no such thing as a spreadable pâté. A spread is a spread. A dip is a dip and a pâté is a pâté! There obviously is no such thing as a pâté that requires cream cheese as a base ingredient. However, many English and Americans refer to a smoked salmon cream cheese spread as being smoked salmon pâté.
I brought the smoked salmon pâté topic up in a conversation with a certified culinary arts educator who was an executive garde manger chef at the Las Vegas MGM Grand. I mentioned that the owners of an English pub, that I once worked at, had a cream cheese and smoked salmon dip on the menu and they called it smoked salmon pâté. The chef just laughed and said that the English have never been known for quality fine dining cuisine. The chef said that a proper name for the menu item should be a spread and not pâté. I agreed and I added a point about how marketing ploys that involve naming a dish, so that it sounds greater than what is really is, could be considered to be fraud by misrepresentation.
Smoked salmon and cream cheese spread is very cheap to make. By calling this spread a pâté, the owners of the pub jacked up the menu price for this item. Pub customers who paid a high pâté price for a small portion of cheap smoked salmon spread were very disappointed. Needless to say, there were many customer complaints. After establishing myself as the chef of the pub, I removed the smoked salmon pâté item from the menu.
Smoked salmon spread tastes very nice. Cream cheese carries the smoked salmon flavor nicely. Smoked salmon spread is a spread and not a pâté. After a few months, I ran a simple smoked salmon spread appetizer, like the one in the photographs above, as a special du jour offering at that English pub. I named the special du jour as a spread, instead of a pâté and I gave this item a lower realistic price. Customers liked the smoked salmon spread and there were no complaints about deceptive marketing tactics or inflated prices! The moral of the story is to properly name a menu item and to cost the item within fair profit margin pricing bounds.
Salmon that is lightly cured and cold smoked is best for this recipe. Salmon that is cold smoked is somewhat soft, like raw salmon, so it is easy to puree with the cream cheese. The rich flavor of smoked salmon does not need to be complicated with herbs or spices. American neufchatel cheese is a good choice for this recipe, because it has a much lower fat content than regular cream cheese.
American neufchatel is smooth and spreadable. Authentic French neufchatel cheese is made in the Normandy region. Normandy neufchatel has a crumbly texture and it is not the proper cheese for this recipe, because it is not spreadable.
American neufchatel was originally a failed attempt to reproduce French neufchatel. The creator of American neufchatel liked the outcome of the failed French cheese making experiment and named the soft light cream cheese neufchatel anyway. Food history like this, causes europeans to laugh and shake their heads in disgust! Anyway, American soft spreadable neufchatel is the correct choice of cheese for this recipe. If you reside in europe, then select a soft fresh cheese similar to a plain boursin.
Smoked Salmon Spread:
This smoked salmon spread recipe makes two servings! A food processor is best for this recipe.
Place 4 ounces of soft lightly cured salmon that was cold smoked in a food processor.
Puree the salmon, till it becomes smooth.
Add 4 ounces of soft spreadable American style neufchatel cheese.
Blend till the ingredients become thoroughly combined.
Place a portion of the smoked salmon spread into a star tipped pastry bag.
Pipe the smoked salmon spread into a small ramekin.
Smoked Salmon Spread Platter:
Place the ramekin of smoked salmon spread on top of a few baby mixed lettuce leaves on a plate.
Garnish the salmon spread with a lime slice curl and a scallion floret garnish.
Garnish the plate with petite portions of:
- finely chopped hard boiled egg
- finely diced tomato
- finely diced onion.
Very thin slice a mini French baguette.
Brush each slice with melted unsalted butter.
Grill the buttered bread slices in a saute pan over medium/medium low heat, till the bread becomes lightly toasted.
Place the petite crostini slices on the border of the plate.
The smoked salmon spread is smooth, silky and spreadable. The classic smoked salmon garnishes add a variety of nice accompanying flavors.
Mincing the smoked salmon with a French knife is not difficult, if you do not have a food processor. The salmon spread in the photographs was actually minced by hand, because I did not have a food processor at the time that I made this recipe! As you can see, it is smooth and well combined!
Yum! ... Shawna