Smoked Snoek Pâté

Mention the word pâté to people and you can expect such a mix of reactions that it is quite hilarious. The un-informed immediately sees visions of chopped liver or some kind of internal organ involved, but that is so very far from the truth. Pâté (pron: pah-TAY) is the French for “pie.” Traditionally Pâté was baked in a crust (en croûte) or molded as a terrine. Today we use the term Pâté  for a much simpler recipe..
These days pâté can be as simple as a a mixture of seasoned ground seafood, meat, poultry or vegetables. Often it can be a combination of all the above mentioned ingredients.  A Pâté can be served hot or cold. Hot Pâtés is mornally baked, whereas cold Pâtés usually make use of gelatin or cream and cheese to set the Pâté.

Last week I posted a recipe for a divine Smoked Snoek Souffle, made from the smoked snoek my parents brought back from their trip up the West Coast. I have quite a lot of snoek left , so when I was asked to bring snacks to enjoy while watching the Battle between North and South on Saturday, Snoek Pâté was the obvious choice. It is the quickest recipe ever and you can whip it up in no time.

Smoked Snoek Pâté


500gr smoked snoek – flaked and bones removed
250gr cream cheese
1 chili – de-seeded and chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon
a few grindings of black pepper
fresh herbs such as fennel of parsley (optional)

Place all the ingredients in the food processor and blitz until it is a smooth paste. Taste and season accordingly. It the mixture is too dry, add a little milk just to loosen it up. At this stage you can spoon the pâté
into ramekins and serve with melba toast or crackers or  serve this Pâté as a starter with some crisp lettuce.

Cook’s Notes

– the smoked Snoek can be replaced with smoked angelfish, smoked mackerel or any other smoked fish or your choice.
– If  you want a more formal starter, set the snoek mixture with gelatin – follow the instructions on the packet.
-Traditionally smoked smoked snoek is eaten on whole wheat bread with some Moskonfyt ( grape Jam) . I paired my Pâté with Sour Fig Jam. Delicious!

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