This Shetland Hot Smoked Salmon Pâté recipe and Oatcakes are this month’s Fish Friday Foodies post. So…It’s the method of smoking the salmon that is hot, as opposed to the cold smoked method, and “oatcakes” aren’t cakes at all…they are crackers. Let me tell you about it.
Hosted this month by Sidsel of Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking, the theme: Preserved Fish. Appetizers made with preserved fish, whether they’re canned, dried, pickled, or recipes incorporating preserved fish, whether as a topper or a key ingredient.
While I had several ides floating around for this theme, I hadn’t settled on anything until a good friend of mine returned from a trip to Scotland and the Shetland Islands. She brought me a cookbook, written by Marian Armitage, Shetland Food and Cooking.
My friend visited Marian in her lovely home, overlooking the North Sea, where Marian cooked for and entertained the small tour group. I loved hearing about the trip and that meal, but I was fascinated by the cookbook. Not only does it contain recipes, but there are tidbits about the foods, and history and so much more.
So, I decided that I would make Marian’s recipe for Hot Smoked Salmon , which in the cookbook she served with oatcakes. Of course, I had to make them also.
The name of the recipe, Hot Smoked Salmon Pâté, may be a bit misleading. The Pâté isn’t served hot, the salmon is smoked using the hot smoke method. The difference between hot smoking and cold smoking is this: With hot smoking there is heat in the smoker, as well as smoke. With cold smoking, there is no heat, just smoke.
With Salmon, the two methods produce much different results. Cold smoked salmon is cured with salt then smoked without heat. Hot Smoked Salmon is smoked with heat, without being cured first. I smoked my salmon at 160° for about an hour. That allowed the salmon to get plenty of smoky flavor, cook through, but not dry out.
Of course, you don’t have to smoke your own salmon to make this recipe. You can just purchase smoked salmon at the market. In any event, you’ll need a 4 ounce salmon filet. It is mixed with ricotta cheese, lemon zest and juice, a pinch of salt, parsley and chives. That’s it.
For the Oatcakes, which are really an oat cracker, you’ll need oat bran, steel-cut oats and flour (this is a variation from Marian’s recipe, but the closest I could come to the ingredients she listed in her book). When she talked about oatcakes for cocktail use, she mentioned both plain and chili. I assumed that meant some form of chili powder. I used some chili-lime seasoning in mine.
The two recipes served together are fantastic. I can see myself serving this over and over again…especially during holiday entertaining.
I hope you’ll try them both!
- 4 ounces hot smoked salmon (hot smoked method), skin removed and flaked (not too small)
- 4 ounces ricotta cheese (or cream cheese, or a combination of the two)
- 1 lemon, zest and juice (about 1½ teaspoons zest, about 3 tablespoons juice)
- 1 teaspoon minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced chives
- pinch of salt
- Garnish with fresh dill and capers (optional)
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and fold to combine.
- Serve chilled over crackers.
- ½ cup oat bran
- ½ cup steel-cut oats (I mixed in 1 tablespoon rolled oats too)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat (or vegetable shortening)
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon chili-lime seasoning (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Combine all of the ingredients to form a stiff dough.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out thinly (about ¼").
- Using a 3" biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds (or just pinch off pieces and form thin rounds).
- Cut the rounds into quarters and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, turn the crackers and return the baking sheet to the oven for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- May be made ahead, stored in an airtight container.