I’ve delayed posting this one for awhile, because I keep meaning to take pictures of how we smoke salmon and put that up first.
However, now that we have once again smoked salmon, not once but twice, and I still didn’t get pictures taken … I’m just going to go ahead and put this up. Maybe I’ll get motivated or something.
I tend to get one of two responses to this spread when I make it. On one extreme, I’ve had people say, “Oh, I hate fish,” and not even try it. At the opposite end of things, I’ve been told I should use it for currency.
The other problem with this spread is that I don’t actually have a recipe with things like exact measurements. It really is an ‘ish’ sort of thing, which means that while it’s very forgiving, it’s also guaranteed to drive my precise sorts of friends utterly nuts.
So. Here goes.
First, we smoke a couple of salmon. We get ours pre-fileted and frozen by the side, so I thaw four sides of salmon to smoke at a time. Since this recipe freezes very well, I make up a big batch every time.
After the smoking is done, I break out the mixer.
I typically use all but 8 oz. of a Costco block of cream cheese, which comes in a 3 lb. block. I set aside 8 oz. for the kids to use because they love cream cheese, and the rest goes in the mixer.
Then I add about a jar and a half of mayo. I use the organic mayonnaise from Trader Joe’s which comes in 16 oz. quantities, which means that I’m using about 1-1/2 lbs. mayo per recipe. I’m not generally that precise, though; I just use up the rest of the jar that’s open in the fridge plus one more whole jar.
All this creamy goodness gets whipped in the Bosch with about 1/2 tablespoon of onion powder. Beat it until it’s airy and fluffy, and well combined.
Then I start peeling the salmon off the skin, and pulling out all the bones I can find. When someone occasionally finds a bone in their salmon spread, I tell them that it’s proof that it came from a real fish!
Then, I add the rest of the salmon and mix until it’s just barely combined. This means that there is salmon creamed in well with the cheese and mayo, but also leaves some chunks of salmon in there too. I got the idea from how they make crunchy peanut butter: first, they make creamy, then stir in the chunks. That way you get the best of both textures.
The last step is to spoon it into jars for freezing. I like to rope Mr. Caffeinated into doing this for me because it’s pretty thick. This particular batch made 14 half-pints, 13 of which were then frozen.
We ate the last one with Everything Crackers from Trader Joe’s.
That’s the ‘secret’ recipe! Nothing to it…
Smoked Salmon Spread
1 1/2 lbs. mayo
2 1/2 lbs. cream cheese
1/2 T. onion powder
4 sides smoked salmon
- Cream together cream cheese, mayo and onion powder.
- Take salmon off the skin, remove bones.
- Add about 2/3 the salmon to the mixer and blend thoroughly with mayo mixture.
- Add last 1/3 salmon, and barely combine, leaving small chunks of salmon throughout spread.
- Serve or freeze in airtight containers.