When you're a food blogger, you tend to have friends who are also food bloggers.... and when food bloggers talk, the conversation can start off being about anything, but inevitably, you always find a way to bring it back to food. That's what happened the other day when I was talking to my dear friend Kim from The Finer Cookie (a fabulous blog, by the way). I had a function to attend and I needed to come up with a quick appetizer so I asked her to share some ideas. She spurted off a number of suggestions without hesitation, but my favorite was this one,
"cucumber slices with sour cream something, chive, and something something"
Ha! So here's what I came up with - pumpernickel rounds topped with garlic and herb cheese, a slice of cucumber, a slice of smoked salmon, a dollop of sour cream, and I finished it all off with a generous sprinkling of shallot salt, finely ground black pepper, and fresh chopped chives.
I started by cutting scalloped rounds of pumpernickel bread. Rye would work have worked too, but I really like the color contrast the pumpernickel provides. Toast them if you like, but I didn't have time.
Side note - pumpernickel has always been my favorite - hard to find good pumpernickel these days. Anyway, my grumpy kid tells me he doesn't like it at all, but guess who keeps using it to make sandwiches? Ha!
To cut thin, perfectly even slices of cucumber, I used this nifty gadget.
Alrighty then, top each pumpernickel round with a generous dab of extremely flavorful spreadable garlic and herb cheese.
Top each dollop of cheese with a thin slice of cucumber and press it down to glue it in place. Then add really good quality smoked salmon and a tiny dollop of sour cream. Starting to look pretty good, huh? You could eat them just like this, but I have a few flavor bombs up my sleeve.
The first is shallot salt. I could sprinkle this stuff on EVERYTHING. It tastes like a combination of smoky onions and garlic. So, so good.
Okay, so sprinkle a healthy dash of shallot salt all over.
And follow with plenty of finely cracked black pepper and chopped fresh chives. That's all there is to it. Now take my advice and don't turn your back on these because they disappear fast. Enjoy!
Salmon Something Somethings
makes 20 appetizers
- 10 sliced pumpernickel bread
- 2 ounces Alouette Garlic and Herb Spreadable Cheese (or Boursin)
- 20 thin slices of English cucumber
- 4 ounces thinly sliced, high quality smoked salmon
- 1 ounce sour cream
- shallot salt (I order this from Penzey's)
- finely ground black pepper
- chopped fresh chives
- Cut twenty 2 1/4-inch rounds from the pumpernickel bread. I used this awesome set of dual-sided cutters.
- Place 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic and herb cheese on each bread round.
- Add one slice of cucumber on top of cheese and press down slightly.
- Top cucumber with bite-size pieces of smoked salmon.
- Top salmon with 1/4 teaspoon sour cream.
- Sprinkle liberally with shallot salt, finely ground black pepper, and freshly chopped chives. Serve immediately.
Note: if you want to transport these, you can't cover them with plastic wrap because the plastic will smoosh the sour cream. Here's the container that I used.