Friday, 13 May 2011

Paula Deen Celebrity Cook - Along

Lynn at Happier Than A Pig In Mud is hosting a "Celebrity Cook - Along" on the 15th with non other than our favourite Southern Chef Paula Deen.
Lynn quotes Paula from her cookbook "It ain't all about the cooking":
I never call myself a chef, never went to chef school... I'm a cook.
Learned at my Grandmomma's stove.
But I can cook honey, cook rings around all those tall-white-hatted chefs.

Lynn has suggested that we recreate one of Paula's appetizer dishes and so I thought what could be nicer on a warm, spring evening than Paula's "Salmon Dip"?

Chunked salmon mixed with mayonnaise, diced onions, fresh parsley and something called "Silly Salt"!

Being me, I had to tweak the recipe a little bit.
To a big serving spoon full of Hellmans Light Mayo I added the same quantity of creme fraiche and a large, salad onion (diced small).
I mixed these ingredients with chopped smoked salmon slices and since "Silly Salt" was not to be found in my pantry added Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning (1), to taste.
Onto a simple white platter I tumbled freshly picked mesclun salad from the potager, then piled the salmon dip onto the mixed leaves and decorated the dish with chives, from my herb garden.

To garnish the dish, I added slices of cool green avocado and cucumber (peeled and de-seeded), before sprinkling Piri Piri (2) from a height, (of course) over it all.

Baguette slices, lightly toasted under the grill, and peppery Italian EVOO (sorry, wrong celebrity chef!), with a large glass of RUNAMOK Australian Chardonnay (3) and our appetizer platter was complete.

According to Paula this appetizer will serve 4 - 6.
However, as soon as the photoshoot was over, the Senior Partner & I ate it for supper.
It was a big success and definitely a dish I will do again when family and friends come to visit in June.

1) A friend from Dallas got me hooked on Cavender's a few years ago, it's a great spice mix to have in the cupboard and always does what it says on the tin. I usually bring 2 or 3 tubs back with me from HHI every year.
2) Portugeuse PIRI PIRI is a finely ground mix of hot peppers from Africa, South America and China. We learned to love it on our last trip to Lisbon and is another must have spice for us.
3) RUNAMOK (our vin de table) does not really make you run amok (well, it might if you drink too much of it).
It is, to quote the wine label:
a deliciously refreshing combination of tropical and citrus fruit flavours, with a fragrant hint of sweet vanilla - oak and a soft, rounded finish.
bon appétit.


  1. OOh, this sounds wonderful. Just the thing for a hot summer's night. If we ever get any of those. We're still wearing jackets and cardigans.

    I like the way you tweaked the recipe. And serving cucumbers and avocado alongside is just perfect. And it all looks so pretty!

  2. What a fun idea for a linky party. Great recipe choice for the summer season. Thanks for sharing!

    PS Have never heard of the wine, but my husband loves wine...I'll share info with him :D

  3. Oooo, how about making this when we visit? ;-)
    This does look so tasty, especially with the avocado and cucumber on the side. Looks beautifully presented too!
    ~ Sarah

  4. I love an appetizer that 'sounds' so fresh - I may have to try this, if we ever get a warm spring evening.
    I'll have to look for the two items you mentionned - I've never heard of either, but will be in WA next month where I can check out the grocery stores.

  5. Hi Maggie! The Salmon Dip is beautiful, love it on the pretty greens! It's nice that something with so few ingredients could be so good. How fun to share the different spices and great wine too! Thanks so much for playing along:@)

  6. Maggie,

    What beautiful pictures. I shall have to check out the seasoning!

    I like the addition of creme fraiche. Whole vignette looks lovely.


  7. Maggie, this looks great for summer and something I can use in Holland. We come back home next Sunday. I want to go to Normandy this summer and drop by if I can. xxoo Jenny

  8. MAGGIE!!!! I JUST SAW THAT YOU VISITED ME! I am so thrilled to learn that you live in Normandy; I have not been up that far, but spent a whole summer in the South of France and in Paris. I will add your name and blog to my list along with your link and I am so happy to see that you added my button to your sidebar. THIS WILL BE FUN! It is so wonderful to meet new friends! Your blog is gorgeous and to think that you live in such a hauntingly BEAUTIFUL abode is in itself a journey! OFF TO PARIS WE GO ON MAY 28th!!!

    Merci bien, Anita

  9. Maggie, What a nice surprise to see you visited my blog. How nice and how great your salmon dip looks, Love how you dressed it with chives and served it with sliced baguette. I'm not familiar with Runamok Chardonnay, but I'm going to look for it. It's sounds delicious. Oh,I'll also look for Cavanders Greek seasoning.Thanks for the tips.
    Thanks again for stopping by,
    Have a great week,

  10. How delicious does salmon dip sound! This looks so delicious.

  11. The salmon dip looks delicious! I can definitely see using it as a complete meal on a nice summer night...


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