On November 21, 2009, nearly 11 full months after I pledged to make The Gastronomer 5 three-course meals as a Christmas present, I finally came through with the final feast. This one needed to be extra special, so I started off with one of her all-time favorite foods: smoked salmon. You might not guess it by looking at her, but she has a Jewish soul.
The accompaniments here are classic, and they work together beautifully. As I mentioned earlier, capers have been a revelation to me; they were the obvious choice among the optional ingredients. I could have been more of a champ and cured the salmon myself, but I stuck with the offerings from TJ's, which did the job quite nicely.
Recipe by The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
- 6 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 16 slices cocktail-sized pumpernickel bread
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 8 counces sliced smoked salmon
- 4 teaspoons minced red onion or shallot (optional)
- 4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped (optional)
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh dill (optional)
Yield: 8 servings
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: 15 minutes
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 30 minutes
Substitutions: I felt that capers plus chives provided plenty of flavor, so I skipped the onions and dill. I couldn't track down any pumpernickel bread, but a standard French baguette worked just fine.