Smoked Salmon And Herb Cheese Cucumber Bites…

Ok, I know I’ve said a lot of my recipes were over the top, but this one is really over the top! Not only does this appetizer have flavor that’s off the charts, but it looks equally impressive and it couldn’t be easier to make. And that’s what I like – something that’s pleasing to the eye and loaded with flavor.

If you’re anything like me you like to play with food. I loved all aspects of putting these bites together from making the cheese mixture, to rolling the salmon, to adding the little frawns of dill to smelling the aroma of cucumbers. Putting these appetizer bites together was a pleasure from start to finish!

So let’s talk smoked salmon cucumber bites…

Lesson Learned 1 – Peel stripes on the cucumber for some extra flair: If you take a peeler and peel 3-4 stripes lengthwise on an English cucumber you get a nice contrast in color along the peel. Make sure you use an English cucumber (or you can use baby cucumbers but they are more time consuming to handle) as the skin is edible in comparison to plain old regular cucumbers that have a thicker and less palatable skin. Adding the strips adds to the visual wow factor of the appetizer.

Lesson Learned 2 – Peel the smoked salmon into bite-sized chunks: The smoked salmon is sliced razor thin so all you need do is tear off a small piece, roll it and you’re ready to put it on top of the cheese. You only need a little bit for each appetizer.

Lesson Learned 3 – Pierce the salmon with the decorative pick first: You may need to push a little to get the salmon on the pick. You don’t want to do that at the same time you are putting the salmon on top of the cheese – the cheese will squirt out everywhere. Pierce the salmon first and then put the pick through the cheese and cucumber. That way it will all layer correctly.

Keep in mind you only need a small amount of the cheese mixture as well – I’d say about a well rounded teaspoon. I used the smaller side of a melon baller to scoop the cheese onto the cucumber. It worked perfectly.

This is an appetizer you’ll want to make and serve shortly afterwards. It tastes the best and freshest that way.  I know you’ll find these little bites not only delicious but also fun to make and of course, eat! Try them and let me know what you think.

Smoke Salmon And Herb Cheese Cucumber Bites...

  • Servings: 20-25
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:

1 5.2 oz. Boursin garlic and fine herb gournay cheese (or any similar spreadable cheese)

1 English cucumber sliced in 1/2 inch rounds

8 oz. smoked salmon

3 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped

2 Tbs. creamy horseradish

1 tsp. onion powder

Small fresh dill frawns for garnish

Decorative picks

DIRECTIONS:

Mix together the cheese, onion powder, chopped dill and horseradish until well combined. Set aside.

Peel 3-4 stripes lengthwise down the sides of the cucumber. Slice the cucumber into 1/2 rounds. Place the cucumbers on a serving dish.

Put a teaspoon of the cheese mixture on top of each cucumber. Peel off bite sized pieces of the smoked salmon. Roll each piece and pierce it with the decorative pick. Place the pick through the cheese and cucumber.

Garnish with a small frawn of dill on top of each appetizer bite. Serve immediately.

The Ingredients

Smoked Salmon Bites…

Oh man… (yep that’s all I can say) oh man, this is a phenomenal appetizer! I served it at a recent get-together we had in our condo and it was gone in less than 20 minutes. To say it is out of this world is an understatement. I can’t tell you how many of my guests asked for the recipe.

But with all good things there is always a catch and this recipe is no exception. Although it is phenomenal, it is also expensive. You need 16 ounces of the key ingredient, the smoked salmon, and that comes at a cost. I was able to buy a 16 ounce package at my local grocery store and it was on sale at $19.95 from $22.95. That’s a pretty hefty price tag for about 35-40 appetizers. For 40 squares it amounts to approximately sixty cents per square – so definitely much more in the pricey range. But as an infrequent splurge you just can’t beat it. Everyone at my party raved over this. So on that special occasion when you want to make a significant impression, this is the recipe for you!

Smoked Salmon Bites Ingredients

So with that in mind, let’s talk smoked salmon bites…

Lesson Learned 1 – The process for making these bites is important to follow: The process for putting these together in itself is not difficult. It is very similar to making appetizer pinwheels. But there are a few variations that you need to keep in mind. This recipe calls for using 3 large tortillas. Within those tortillas you need to create a square of cream cheese mixture and smoked salmon in order to cut the bites into square pieces. That is not that difficult as you can see by the pictures below (not a perfect square by any means but that is still ok). The key is to make the largest square possible inside the round tortilla leaving only minimal areas at the rounded edges that will eventually be discarded.

Once the three layers have been completed, it is also important to take something like a cutting board and place it on top of the tortillas and press down slightly to ensure that the filling is evenly distributed within the square before your refrigerate it. I also learned a tip from another very similar recipe. If you lightly butter (and I mean very lightly) the second and third tortilla before you place it on top of the smoked salmon it will help keep the tortillas in place when you cut them. The butter clings to the smoked salmon which in turn secures the tortilla.

It is also important that this appetizer be given sufficient time to chill so that it can be cut easily. I recommend at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. That’s another great aspect of this appetizer, it can easily be made the day ahead and cut right before you intend to serve it. So all the heavy lifting is done in advance. As a matter of fact you can even make it two days in advance but don’t go beyond that.

Lesson Learned 2 – Use a serrated knife to cut the bites: If you use a serrated knife to cut the bites and use a back and forth cutting motion less filling, if any,  will come out the sides. The cutting process will be a whole lot faster and easier.

First Layer Of Smoked Salmon Bites

Layer The Salmon On The Spread

Lightly Butter The Underside Of The Second And Third Tortilla

We had about 20 people over at the party when I served this and I was so happy with not only  how well it was received but also how easy it was to cut and serve the day of the party. Any host will appreciate not having to labor over a dish they are serving and rather spend more time with their guests and so the ability to make this ahead of time was very appealing to me. I certainly hope that you try this recipe at some point. I know I will be thoughtful about when to serve this, especially due to the cost, but I will definitely make this again.

Smoked Salmon Bites

  • Servings: 40
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

2-3 scallions, chopped fine

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 medium to large lemon, zested

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup dill + sprigs for presentation (sprigs optional)

3 large soft tortillas

16 oz. of smoked salmon sliced thin

small amount of softened butter

Lemon slices for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, scallions, garlic powder, lemon zest, salt and dill. Lay out a tortilla and spread half of the cream cheese mixture into a large square inside the tortilla, making as large of a square as possible. Top with half of the smoked salmon.

Take the second tortilla and butter it lightly. Put the buttered side down on top of the smoked salmon. Spread the remaining cream cheese mixture in the shape of a large square on top of the tortilla. Top the cream cheese mixture with the remaining smoked salmon.

Take the third tortilla and butter it lightly. Place the buttered side on top of the smoke salmon and press down lightly. Using a cutting board or a frying pan, press down on the tortillas to ensure the filling is equally distributed. Keep the tortillas flat and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours, overnight is preferable.

Remove the plastic wrap when ready to cut. Cut off all four rounded edges to create a square. Cut the tortillas into 1 inch strips lengthwise and then cut each strip into 1 inch squares. Place a toothpick in the center of each square and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with dill sprigs and lemon slices if so desired. Serve.