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Smoked Salmon Appetizer from the Pantry

Smoked Salmon Dip or Filling

A little smoked salmon can turn into a delightful appetizer with a few ingredients from the pantry. The recipe works as well with canned salmon but the fresh smoked salmon has a more delicate flavor. Whipped cream cheese is best, as it will remain spreadable even if the dip is cold from the refrigerator.

Place capers, dill, and green onion into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add cream cheese and pulse until mixed; add smoked salmon and pulse until well mixed. Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice and zest to taste. I rarely find that I need to add salt but do so to taste if you find the dip needs some.

Smoked Salmon dip can be served with crackers, baguette slices, and bagel chips (the best) or piped into bite sized gougeres (choux pastry dough-the ultimate if you have time to make).

1      tablespoon capers, drained

1      tablespoon dill

2      green onions

8      oz. whipped cream cheese

1/2   pound smoked salmon

1/2   teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2      shots hot pepper sauce

1      lemon zested and juiced

Gougeres is pate a choux dough with cheese added and can certainly be served alone, but these bite sized appetizers are quickly devoured when filled with the smoked salmon recipe from above. A little extra time is needed to make and bake them but well worth the extra effort. Give yourself an extra half hour or so to bake the gougeres, they can be made ahead and frozen or refrigerated until needed. Incidentally the dough, pate a choux, can be made into profiteroles, cream puffs, éclairs and more.

Place the water, milk, butter and salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and add the flour all at once, and stir with a wooden spoon until a stiff paste forms and comes together into a ball, about 2 minutes. At this point the dough can be added to the bowl of a standing mixer or you can continue right in the same pan. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. The dough will separate but will come back together, then continue adding the eggs, one at a time.

Place the dough mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2" tip or into a freezer type bag and snip off one corner; pipe onto a parchment lined baking sheet into bite-sized mounds about 1" apart. Bake in a 400° oven for about 20 minutes until puff and golden brown. Poke a hole into the pastry when you remove them from the oven using a wooden skewer to let the excess moisture escape; let cool before storing. Fill with the smoked salmon mousse for a wonderful tasty treat.

1/2      cup water

1/2      cup whole milk

1         stick butter

           pinch of sea salt

1         cup flour

4         large eggs