"Now what do I do?" You know the feeling, when you invite people for an impromptu Happy Hour before checking the pantry or fridge. I can't tell you how often Salmon Spread has come to the rescue, whether we're on the boat or home ashore. Leftover grilled or baked salmon, or even canned salmon transforms quickly into a delicious and popular topping for crackers, crostini or raw vegetables. This week we're onboard and I pulled a piece of steelhead from the freezer for our dinner (Herb-crusted Steelhead link) and an extra fillet for some salmon spread - planning ahead for a change!
The recipe flexes easily to handle substitutions of ingredients or quantity adjustments. No butter? no problem, just leave it out. No cream cheese? same answer, though I've never omitted both cream cheese and butter at the same time. Don't care for horseradish? substitute hot sauce, chipotle or wasabi mayonnaise or a few drops of liquid smoke for a flavor pop. Not a fan of capers? try adding chopped pistachios for an unexpected change. Don't have a food processor or blender? okay, just use a sturdy fork and a bit of muscle. No fresh veggies or crackers? smear some salmon spread over a soft flour tortilla, roll up tightly, use toothpicks to hold it together and slice off inch-wide pinwheels, each piece held together with its own toothpick for easy serving.
Leftovers have never been so tasty, so versatile or such crowd pleasers!
Simple Salmon Spread
1/2 LB cooked salmon (grilled is good)
1/4-cup lemon juice (or use a little lemon pepper spice & less juice)
1/2 brick cream cheese
1 generous Tablespoon creamy horseradish sauce (in jar)
1/4 LB melted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup sour cream
3 green onions, chopped small
1 generous Tablespoon capers, rinsed & drained
A hefty sprinkle of dill weed, to taste
Few drops Chipolte Tabasco (optional)
Salt and pepper (optional)
Blend salmon, lemon juice, cream cheese and horseradish sauce in a food processor. With the motor running, pour in the butter in a steady stream. Fold in the sour cream, green onions, capers and dill. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding Tabasco, salt and pepper as desired. Pour into a serving dish and refrigerate until set. Serve with crackers, lettuce leaves or cucumber rounds, or (no more than an hour ahead) fill toasted wonton cups for a fancy presentation.
Note: for a smokey flavor you could add a dash of Liquid Smoke, as several recipes recommend, but I'm not fond of the back flavor. I think it tastes a bit like kerosene smells -- but that's just me.