I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Country Ham Paté

Country Ham Paté

Football and tailgating season have arrived, so I offer this little tidbit.  Country Ham Paté has the down-home goodness of salty, savory country ham, with a slightly sophisticated twist.  It is easily portable and imminently useful.  Try it simple spread on crackers or corn chips, or sandwiched between the halves of little cocktail-sized buttermilk biscuits.  Its great on a snacking spread with pimento cheese or other dips.

I buy ground country ham online, but you can as easily take country ham biscuit slices and pulse them to a thick paste in the food processor.  I love this served out of old canning jars, but molding it into a lovely shape adds a dash of style.

Country Ham Paté

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon sweet paprika

A few grinds of black pepper

5 green onions, white and light green parts

1 pound ground country ham

With a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, paprika and pepper until smooth.  Finely chop the green onions and stir them into the mix.  Crumble the ground ham in and use a sturdy wooden spoon to beat everything together until smooth and well combined.

Scrape the pate into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to let the flavors meld.  Well-covered, this will keep for up to a week.  If you want to get a little fancy, line a bowl with plastic wrap, smoothing it out as much as possible, and scoop the pate into it. Press down on the pate and smooth it out so there are not air pockets.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.  Before serving, unwrap the top, invert the pate onto a platter and remove the plastic wrap.

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