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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  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!

  5. Now this is funny. Marc I am with Cleo on this one Ee-gad lol. Now, I know I am old ( just when I thought 41 was young ) I do remember the deviled ham and yes at least here in the south they still sale it. My boys love that stuff. Personally I can live with out it, not my cup of tea.
    This recipe however does look and sound good. I will give this ago. I am tried of looking at the ham in the refrigerator :).
    ~ Babs ~
    The World of Book Reviews

  6. Love the recipe, Cleo - I just froze the rest of my ham on the bone for soup (I like lots and lots of ham in my soup, so we were generous on how much we froze), but next time I'm making American Pate! Great name for it! You know how titles often sell books? Well, I think pate sells this way more than "ham salad" would! You go girl!

    Thanks for the Book Day congrats! Super excited to roll out this new Ollie!

  7. Oh, ham salad!! How I love it! How I miss it, as a home vegetarian! Ham salad is one of those dishes that no two people make quite the same way. Yours sounds wonderful!

    How about calling it Rick's Pate Americaine? Sooner or later, everybody eats some Rick's.

    And MAJOR congratulations to me--I mean to Julie--on the publication of another of my favorite mysteries. :)

    Marian Allen

  8. Of course I remember Deviled Ham in the can. I now have a ham that part of will become ham salad. Make it every time I have a ham, we love it. I just use relish, onion and mayo to make mine. I will make some ham and beans later this week too and since hubby can only take just so much of that I cheat and use canned beans and onion only.

    Julie's new book is on my list to buy.

  9. Okay, yes, I know I'm older than dirt and I remember the little cans of deviled ham! When we were first married, my husband and I couldn't afford ham so we made deviled bologna (don't gag until you try it. It makes a darn good sandwich!) It just so happens, I have some ham in the fridge that would do perfectly. I have a mission! Also, as an alternative to both the dill and sweet relish, I love chopped bread and butter pickles! Mount Olive makes a sugar free variety that is absolutely no different from regular. Congrats, Julie, on the new book! I obviously have another mission, on of my favorites, book hunting! Nurse JudyMac

  10. Cleo, Ham spread is affectionately called funeral meat around here. Jackie loves it, where she's from (god's country, South Dakota), it is a staple when someone passes that the Church Ladies make a big batch for sandwiches and deliver to the grieving. Funerals in South Dakota are a very social event.

    Wonder how many would click on if the murder mystery women came up with a recipe for "FUNERAL MEAT"

    And BTW, Krista got the Year on the Grill treatment on my blog today with a nice plug for you all.


  11. Cleo, sounds delish. and Julie, Congrats!
    ~ Avery

  12. Replies to...

    @Elizabeth – Oh, yes! I really enjoy those salads, too. This was my very first time making ham salad from scratch, and my husband was absolutely right. It's delicious! (We already made a second batch. :))

    @Dru - I can see from Babs' comment that they do still sell Underwood Deviled Ham spread in her part of the country. I'm going to check out the grocery shelves in Queens this week just to see if we can still get it up here in NYC.

    @Laine of Laineshots - I was thinking of you when I sliced up my jalapeno, lol! And I never really thought about it before but horseradish does cover a multitude of culinary sins, doesn't it? (Really glad to hear I made you laugh. On a post-holiday, January morning, laughter is the one ingredient I can't get enough of!)

    More replies to come...

    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  13. Replies to...

    @Sheila – Color me surprised how much I enjoyed the homemade ham salad. The hub was right! I also think the pastry blender was a brilliant idea on the part of Marc's grandmother. It was easy, fast, and really does pulverize the meat into a nice, fine texture. For as much ham as you have, however, I’d go electric. :)

    @Babs – I was so relieved to hear that you had the same (initial) reaction that I did to the idea of ham salad. I didn’t want to offend anyone, but the thought of it sounded so (forgive me) gross. Now that I know how delicious homemade truly is, especially with a little jalapeno or seasoned olive topping it, I’m keeping this post-holiday tradition for good. Ham bone for the soup, leftover slices for salad, every year from now on. If you try it, I hope you have the same (surprised and delighted) reaction that I did because I can assure you I was skeptical, too. :)

    @Julie – I’m with you on titles, lol. And warmest congratulations to you again for another winning release. Go, Julie, go! BUFFALO WEST WING is off and running. Woot!

    More replies to come...

    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  14. Replies to…

    @Marian – “Rick's Pate Americaine” Love it. TY for dropping by and your nice words for Julie on this very special day! Woot! :)

    @Nancy – Italians have a thing for not wasting food. Leftovers = raw materials. :) I think most American households agree with that philosophy, esp. these days, and I can see you agree. Clearly, you were also way ahead of me on the ham salad front. I wish I’d tried making it years ago because I love pate and chopped liver (neither of which I’ve ever tried to make at home, either), and ham salad really does strike me as a simple and versatile version of those.

    @NurseJudyMac – Oh, I love all of your suggestions, and I am absolutely intrigued with deviled bologna. (I only gagged a little.) No kidding, Marc does some interesting things with bologna. If you see this note, come back and post the recipe! I see a blog post dedicated to bologna in our future. :)

    More replies to come...

    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  15. Replies to…

    @Dave from A Year on the Grill blog – OMG - FUNERAL MEAT is genius. One of us should grab that for a cozy murder mystery title! Also love the story of Jackie’s South Dakota church lady traditions. Comforting the grieving with homemade TLC. That’s God’s Country fo’ sure. Now I'm off to read your DIVA COOKS recipe post... Anyone want to join me? Just click here... Dave’s DIVA COOKS A GOOSE post.

    @Avery – Thx for dropping in, A! Have a great day.

    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter