Tuesday, January 4, 2011

An American Pâté by Coffeehouse Mystery Author Cleo Coyle

How we came up
with this recipe post...

A Play in One Scene
by Cleo Coyle

Click here for the handy PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share.

Marc: The holidays are over, honey, what do we have to eat?

Me: (Sticking head in fridge.) Leftovers. More leftovers. Slices of ham…

Marc: Hey, my grandmother used to make ham salad. How about that?

Me: Ham salad? Um… (As I contemplate my husband's suggestion, I break the fourth wall and address you, the audience)

Ee-gad, I’ve heard of ham salad. I know it’s been popular for years, kind of a retro Mad Men ’50’s canapé thing, but isn’t it on par with awful stuff like Spam in a can? Speaking of which, whatever happened to those adorable little cans of ham spread enveloped with that signature crinkly paper and the cute little devil logo? (Do any of you remember Underwood Deviled Ham Spread?)

By now, my husband groks my skeptical expression, if not my internal thoughts...

Marc: Oh, honey, you never had it made fresh for you. It’s delicious. Really, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Me: Okay, I’m game. So what goes in it? Ham. Obviously.

Marc: Mustard, onion, a hard-boiled egg, mayonnaise...

Me: I have an idea. Let’s see if anyone posted their grandmother’s recipe online….

(Sure enough there was a recipe here. We tinkered with it a bit and came up with our own particular version.)

Me: Problem. Nobody will click on this post if I call it Ham Salad.

Marc: Well, our version has Dijon mustard in it, and you’re serving it with jalapeno slices and dry-cured olives with Herbes De Provence.

Me: I’ve got it! We'll call the recipe Yankee Tapas, or better yet…

Cleo Coyle's American Pâté

For PDF click here.

3 cups ham, fully cooked
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
2 heaping teaspoons dill relish (you can swap in sweet)
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 green onion, chopped (or 1 T. chopped shallots)
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard (or yellow if you like)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Directions: Grind your ham slices with a blender, food processor, meat grinder, or (use the method of Marc's grandmother), a pastry blender! (See our photo.)

Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Chill and serve on your favorite crackers or slices of crusty baguette. We enjoyed topping ours with slices of jalapeno and cured, pitted olives.

(yes, even leftovers)
with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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Coffeehouse Mystery
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  1. I love ham salad, egg salad, and potato salad! They're all good. I have to admit, though, that I've never *made* ham salad...so this recipe is one that I desperately needed.

    Congrats to Julie!

  2. I just dated myself because I remember deviled ham in a can. Do they still sell those?

    Congrats to Julie on your book release.

  3. You made me laugh even before I've had my first sip of tea--good going!

    Okay, Marc, I'm with your wife. The very mention of ham salad makes me think of those little devil cans--the contents of which weren't, as I recall, half bad when mixed with a bit of horseradish and stuffed into tiny chou paste puffs. But that first whiff of it when that little can was opened.... So--good idea, to give this another name--because it actually looks really good. And you know I'll want to top it the same way you do!

  4. All right! Now I know what to do with that five pounds of ham left over from New Year's, before it turns green. Eight pound ham, three people--you can do the math.

    And let me say again: I love your PDF format for printing out the recipes!