28 July 2014

Eats: smoked salmon dip

If it seems like I’m phoning it in on food-related posts lately, well ding ding ding, you are correct, sir or madam. It’s summertime. It’s 97 blasted degrees outside. It’s just not the season to spend in the kitchen, let alone take twice as long to cook something because I have to take photos along the way.

So no three-course meals around here nowadays (as if we ever have those, but whatever). I’m instead eating things that 1) require almost no cooking and 2) can be eaten straight out of the fridge, perhaps 3) on a cracker. Slice some fruit to eat on the side and call it a day. You call it a plate full of appetizers, I call it dinner.

That’s why I’m showing you another dip today. Two dips in a row! I dip, you dip, we dip. And this smoked salmon dip inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe requires absolutely no cooking. I mean, last week we had to boil eggs. This is even simpler.

Start with a block of cream cheese (that’s eight ounces) and 1/3 cup of sour cream. Ina calls for a bit more, but this amount worked for me.

Mix until combined. My cream cheese was room temperature, so it came together quickly. I wouldn’t advise stirring by hand even with room temp cream cheese, though – you don’t want lumps. Make it nice and smooth!

Then add salt and pepper, two teaspoons of lemon juice, and a teaspoon of prepared horseradish. You should also add some dill, but I forgot to buy any so mine was dill-less.

In my opinion, the horseradish is the stuff that MAKES the dish. It doesn’t matter which brand (this one was smallest and cheapest), but you can’t omit the horseradish! It’s just too delicious with the smoked salmon!

Speaking of that. I used this stuff from Trader Joe’s.

Now. When I’ve had smoked salmon in the past, I remember it being more firm than this stuff. This salmon seemed... a bit less cooked. And I do not eat raw fish. Ever. No sushi, no ceviche, no thank you. After a lot of googling “is smoked salmon ACTUALLY COOKED no really I mean NOT RAW” I still wasn’t sure. So... I stuck it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Sure, the texture was a bit drier and it turned a bit darker. But I was finally convinced that it wasn’t raw, which meant it was now categorized as “acceptable for eating” under my own personal guidelines.

All that to say: If you have the same raw fish hangup and you’re serving this to those odd people who appreciate eating undercooked animals, I promise that if you nuke it a few minutes, no one will be able to tell once it’s all incorporated. Whether you microwave or bake or do absolutely nothing to the salmon, just throw it in the mixer with the rest of it. It’ll come out nice and shredded!

Give it a little taste and decide if it needs anything (like, um, dill maybe?). And if it’s good, you’re DONE! That’s it! Get the crackers and go to town! Straight outta the mixing bowl. No shame.

Like I said, the horseradish with the salmon is absolutely divine. You’ll feel so fancy bringing this to a party. And yet it’s so easy! I’m pretty sure it took me longer to wash my mixing bowl afterwards than it did to make this dip. Enjoy!

This week’s meal plan is not particularly inspired (see above re: summertime, not cooking, etc.)... but perhaps you’re in the same boat. Let’s slack off together!

Sunday: takeout, as Mr. P just returned from a conference, and I am lazy

Monday: a new noodle recipe! I’ll share if it’s good!

Tuesday: beef tacos with guac and chips

Wednesday: General Tso’s chicken with rice and veggies (sounds fancy, but my sauce comes bottled from Trader Joe’s)

Thursday: pasta with marinara and sausage

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: on the road again! Because summertime!

Hope you’re having an equally delicious and fun time with your lazy summer days, dear readers. Have a great week!


Betty Becca said...

We've been making Smoked Salmon Dip too lately...here's the recipe we've been using for flavoring comparison. http://www.thetasteplace.com/2010/04/14/superb-smoked-salmon-dip/