Last month I noticed that My Cup Is Full has become very main-course-heavy, with no fun small bites; so here is your second dose of appetizers for the week: Smoked Salmon Pinwheels. The concept is incredibly easy, and should you be short on things like capers and dill, it’s not crazy to reduce the filling down to just cream cheese. I wanted to jazz up the filling, however, and I even figured out how to modify it into a sauce for poached salmon (more on that soon!). So you can make the whole batch of filling for appetizers for tomorrow, and have plenty left over for a sauce to top some fish later in the week, all in one fell swoop.
I’ve been holding onto this recipe for a while for two reasons:
- This little appetizer transformed me to a smoked salmon lover for life, and I wanted to share that love with you.
- When concocting my own version I had more than a little trouble getting it to look pretty (The key to this mystery is below).
The time to share it with you is today, just in case you’re looking for a last minute appetizer for your Super Bowl party tomorrow… While it might be a little upscale for the Super Bowl, why not give it a go? They are quick little bites easily grabbed during a time out
This journey of starting a food blog has taught me SO much so quickly, and the primary lesson I’m learning is how important vision is to our experience of eating. Case and point: my niece at 4 years old dissolved in tears at a fancy restaurant because the mac & cheese turned out to be GREEN (I, however, enjoyed it very much, thank you). All that to say, these little pinwheels have a fine line between cute and appetizing crossing over into oozy and awkward, and the difference is the filling and the cut. So, here are my tips for you:
- Keep the consistency of the filling thick and as possible, so that it won’t ooze out later. Even let it set in the fridge for up to a day to make it nice and firm.
- Sharpen your knife before you cut – a dull blade will squash it and you’ll lose the circular swirl effect.
- If your salmon rolls look too small, you can use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut the cucumber slices down to a proportional size.
- If all else fails, use garnishes – dill, a dollop of filling, capers, etc can cover up any imperfections.
If all these tips convince you to make a less presentation-heavy appetizer for your party, why not go with a tasty Hot Corn Dip, instead?
However, if you’re still tracking with me, please do try adding a little more salmon into your life!
- 8 ounces of cream cheese
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped capers
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- juice from half of a lemon
- 8 ounces pre-sliced "ready to serve" smoked salmon
- 2 cucumbers or crackers for serving
- Place the cream cheese, chopped capers, dill and lemon juice in a food processor and blend unit smooth(for easier clean-up I use the processor extension of my immersion blender you can check out on the Tools I Love page)
- If you really love capers, you can stir in extra whole or lightly chopped capers into the puree.
- Lay the smoked salmon pieces fanned out, so that they form a solid rectangle.
- Spread the puree in an even layer, leaving an inch wide margin all the way around.
- On a long edge, slowly start to roll the salmon in onto itself. Keep rolling until you have a nice long salmon log.
- Wrap the log up in some plastic wrap and let it set in the fridge for at least an hour (I had the best result leaving it in the fridge overnight).
- After it has chilled, unwrap the log and using a sharp knife, slice the log into ¼ inch wide slices.
- Slice up some cucumber or use crackers on which to serve each smoked salmon pinwheel.