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Smoked salmon pate

(Sheryl Julian/Globe Staff)
By Sheryl Julian
Globe Staff / May 27, 2009

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Serves 6

Celebrated cookbook author Jacques Pepin made this dish for a party recently. He used the bright coral salmon that you would eat on a bagel with cream cheese. The pate, which is pureed, has the pleasing quality of an unusual tartare. I happened to have some hot-smoked salmon in the fridge and made his pate using that. The fish is nothing like the slightly oily slices of regular smoked salmon. Hot-smoked, as the name suggests, is cooked on a hot fire until it's fully done and flaky. Sometimes called "smoked-roasted" salmon, hot-smoked salmon is usually sold in small pieces. Pureed with the ricotta and lemon juice, and a generous pinch of cayenne pepper, it makes a heavenly pate. The topping of chopped red onion, capers, and parsley gets scooped up with each bite.

4 ounces hot-smoked or smoke-roasted salmon, skin removed
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Generous squeeze of lemon juice, or to taste
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. With your fingers, flake the fish into large pieces. In a food processor, combine the fish, ricotta, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Work the mixture until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper, if you like.

2. Pack the pate into a shallow dish. Top with red onion, capers, parsley, and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

Adapted from "More Fast Food My Way"