Thursday, December 8, 2011

Salmon Spread


Michelle's Aunt Susan and Uncle Tony brought this to Thanksgiving for an appetizer. Michelle's sister made this for a holiday party the next week, so we tagged along to document the process. Let us just say this... Michelle is not normally a huge fan of salmon, unless it's in this salmon spread. Oh. My. Goodness. It was amazing. 

Tony adapted this recipe from the late Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith, who reportedly took it from his mother. 

Here's what you need:
1 1/4 -1 1/2 lb salmon steaks
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (be careful with this because it can make it bitter)
1 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
2 Tbsp mayonnaise or sour cream
1 Tbsp horseradish
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (Plus 1/4 cup for the poaching liquid)
Pinch of salt and pepper (plus 8-10 whole peppercorns for poaching liquid)
Water for poaching

Here's what you do:
This is best done in two steps. First, cook the salmon and cool before combining it with the cheese mix.

Poach the salmon in the water, lemon juice and peppercorns for about 8-10 minutes. Cool and remove any bones and skin before combining with the cheese mix. (If you are grilling ahead of time, you can grill the salmon and cool it. If you do this, watch the liquid smoke).

Soften the cream cheese to room temperature for at least one hour.

Combine the cream cheese, mayo (or sour cream), lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt and pepper and mix until smooth.

Crumble the cooled salmon into pieces and combine with the cream cheese mix.

Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. (It holds well for a couple of days as long as you keep it well sealed against other refrigerator smells).

Serve by spreading on pita chips, bagel chips, or other firm crackers.


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