Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Smoked salmon cream cheese spread with chives

Making those fancy appetizers (or hors d'oeuvres) is not my thing... so painstaking and time consuming. I prefer to just throw a few things (like sliced veggies, cheese, crackers, etc) on a large platter, arrange them nicely and be done with it. The French call it crudités. It's not so much that I'm lazy, it's more that I'd rather spend the time on the main meal or dessert. So I'm all about fast and easy appetizers, but it also should be tasty and healthy (as much as possible).

Appetizer is defined as "a small amount of food or drink taken at the start of a meal to stimulate the appetite". Notice the words small amount... i.e. your guests are not suppose to be full before the lunch or dinner is served.

Occasionally, I will take the time to prepare one thing and one of my favorite easy recipes is a smoked salmon and cream cheese spread with fresh chives.

Here's how to make it...

Step 1:
Chop up the smoked salmon and place in a medium or large bowl.

This package is about a 1/2 pound of salmon (I think) and I bought it at Trader Joe's.

Step 2:
Add whipped cream cheese. I used an 8-oz package from Trader Joe's.

You can use non-whipped cream cheese. It's easier to mix by hand when the cream cheese is pre-whipped.

Step 3:
Chop the chives finely.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had some ready in my garden. Really fresh chives has a slightly stronger flavor and compliments the smoked salmon well.

Step 4:
Wet your hands a little and form a ball with the salmon and cream cheese mixture and then roll it in the chopped chives.

Once it's covered in the chives it's easier to handle and form into whatever shape you want.

That's it! You're done. I like to put it on a small plate and decorate the middle of the cheese ball with chive flowers or other edible flowers. Oh and it's awesome spread on toast for breakfast the next morning.

My favorite serving tray is made by Marimekko (Finland), in the classic vintage (1964) pattern called Unikko.


  1. This looks good! The cream cheese ball looks really professional with the chives. I'll have to try this out sometime minus the salmon, great instructions! :)