smoked salmon amuse bouche

(Dec. 25, 2020) Christmas is finally here!

I do not know about you, but it seems like turmoil coincides with the holiday season. Emotions are heightened and drama goes without saying.

Advertisers spend millions of dollars promoting the most glorious day of the year. We must remember this is time of peace, gratitude and much needed joy.

My constant revision of my shopping list is imperative; I must make sure no one has been left out. But these continual adjustments play havoc on my mind.

I have placed a call to my therapist, but can you believe he is on holiday.

If that is not enough, I have been cooking around the clock. Last night, I could not understand why my eggnog cheesecake was not setting.

After retracing my steps over and over, I finally came to the conclusion it was not me. So, the next logical question is, “What went wrong?”

After a bottle of Chateau St. Jean, I finally realized my stove wasn’t working.

This is just great; it is a pity when one assumes what else is going to go wrong. But that seems to be the story of my life.

I am physically and emotionally exhausted, and all I have to do is get through one more day. Family is arriving on Christmas and I need a quick appetizer that is worthy of this special occasion.

We adore smoked salmon. By incorporating it into a dip or mousse, one is able to capture the luxurious taste of salmon without the hefty price tag.

Following are three smoked salmon appetizers that will please even the most discerning palate.

If time is of the essence, this smoked salmon amuse bouche is a winner.

Combine one (5.2 ounce) container of Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Gournay cheese, 3 tablespoons minced smoked salmon and splash of fresh lemon juice in a small bowl.

Slice an English cucumber at a 45-degree angle. Pipe the filling onto the individual slices of cucumber and garnish with salmon caviar.

You will need to use a large piping tip so it does not get clogged by the filling. That is all it takes to whip up a fabulous bite-size appetizer. How simple is that?

If the idea of a dip strikes your fancy, the richness of the salmon will stand up to the creaminess of the hors d’ oeuvre.

Combine 8 ounces of whipped cream cheese (room temperature), ½ cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus extra for garnishing, 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish (drained), ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and 8 ounces minced smoked salmon.

Blend the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish and salt with an electric mixer.

Transfer mixture and smoked salmon to a blender and puree the dip. Chill for at least 2 hours and serve with crackers, toasted baguettes slices, or raw vegetables. Garnish with fresh dill.

If your artistic skills want to be challenged and are looking for a stunning appetizer, consider a smoked salmon parfait.

Shot glasses with mini serving spoons brings a level of sophistication to any occasion. They can be purchased online and are very economical, especially since you can reuse them.

Set aside 8 ounces of plain, whipped cream cheese. Then in a medium bowl, combine 4 ounces of smoked salmon, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 8 ounces of whipped cream cheese, ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice, ¼ to ½ prepared horseradish, 1 teaspoon minced sweet onion, 2 teaspoons fresh dill, and kosher salt to taste.

Blend until the mixture is very smooth.

Using a piping bag, pipe a small amount of plain cream cheese in the base of the shot glass.

Using a second piping bag that contains the smoked salmon mousse, pipe a small amount of salmon mousse on top of the plain cream cheese. Keep alternating until the shot glass is full.

Garnish with either fresh dill or salmon caviar. Serve with the mini spoon on the side.

The art of piping not only elevates your dishes, but allows you to include the children. Piping kits can be purchased at Amazon for a very reasonable price.

Entertaining is not about impressing your guests; it is about expressing your own personal style. It is important to be comfortable with your choices but at the same be willing to venture from your comfort zone.

These smoked salmon recipes have been carefully chosen for beginners and more advanced cooks. The recipes do not take much time to prepare which is always a blessing during the holidays.

You can buy smoked salmon that has been cured from the deli section of your neighborhood supermarket. If you own a smoker, feel free to smoke fresh salmon on your grill. Either type of smoked salmon can be used for these recipes.

If you have never tried smoked salmon, you must give it a try. Smoked salmon amuse bouche, smoked salmon dip, and smoked salmon parfait are fun ways to incorporate a delicacy into your holiday menu at an affordable price.

Have a happy and safe holiday and enjoy these salmon options.

Secret Ingredient – Christmas. “There are three stages of man: he believes in Santa Claus; he does not believe in Santa Claus; he is Santa Claus.”

– Bob Phillips

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