I love smoked salmon. It’s delicious made with pasta or turned into a dip for crackers. But my all-time favorite way to eat smoked salmon is with bagels and cream cheese. These canapés are a take-off on the bagel and cream cheese idea. Instead of bagels, I used english cucumbers for a base. I made our family’s traditional cream cheese filling, but I substituted dill for the green onions.
If you’re wondering where to get smoked salmon, Costco carries a Norwegian brand called Foppen that is just wonderful because besides being delicious, the salmon is already thinly sliced and ready to use. The package comes with plain, peppered, and dilled slices. I cut each slice into strips and then roll each strip into a cone to make the little rosette shapes. It’s really easy and looks so pretty on your appetizer table.
SMOKED SALMON CUCUMBER CANAPÉS
1 lb. smoked salmon, very thinly sliced
2 english cucumbers
1 pkg. (8 ozs.) cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup mayonnaise
4 tbsps. fresh dill, chopped
½ tsp. salt
With a fork, score lines down the skin of the cucumbers. Slice scored cucumbers into rounds.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill, and salt until well combined.
Pipe a little cream cheese mixture on top of each cucumber slice.
With a sharp paring knife, cut each slice of smoked salmon into strips approximately ¾ inch wide.
Roll each strip into a rosette shape.
Top each cucumber slice with a salmon rosette.
If not serving immediately, chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
All the uproar over Paula Deen made me think of her Tomato Bacon Canapes. I watched her make these on her show “Paula’s Home Cooking” on the Food Network years ago. I tried it at home and have made it several times since then. It’s delicious, albeit not exactly diet-friendly. If you’re looking for a low-fat appetizer, this isn’t it but it’s so good that you just won’t care. Who doesn’t love a BLT sandwich? This has all the ingredients of a classic BLT and then some! It’s delicious and is great for the occasional cocktail party. It’s easy to make and I have to admit, every last one has been wolfed down each time I’ve served it!
NOTE: I didn’t have mini phyllo shells when I made the canapés pictured, so I used regular phyllo sheets that I cut into little squares and pressed into mini muffin cups. I layered 2 little squares into each muffin cup, brushing each layer with a little melted butter, and then prebaked them at 350º for about 8 minutes until they were a pale golden brown before proceeding with the canapé recipe. You could save yourself some work by buying the ready-to-use mini phyllo shells but if they’re unavailable in your area, just cut regular phyllo dough sheetsinto little squares like I did.
TOMATO BACON CANAPÉS
1 pkg. mini phyllo shells
¾ cup finely diced tomatoes
2 tsp. finely diced onions
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
½ tsp. Paula Deen’s house seasoning (see recipe below)
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup packed shredded mozzarella cheese
2-3 strips of bacon, fried crisp and finely crumbled
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place the diced tomatoes in a colander or sieve.
Sprinkle with the onion, basil and house seasoning, and toss to coat.
Allow to drain, stirring occasionally.
Fill each phyllo shell with a scant tablespoon of the tomato mixture.
Stir together the mayonnaise and mozzarella.
Frost the top of each shell with a scant tablespoon of the mayonnaise-mozzarella mixture.
Top each shell with a little crumbled bacon.
Bake the filled shells for 10-12 minutes.
PAULA DEEN’S HOUSE SEASONING:
1 cup salt
¼ cup black pepper
¼ cup garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.