almost too pretty to eat
On Friday night we had a little reunion of sorts. Our dear friends and former neighbors, Lori and Jonathon, were in town for the week.
In December, Tram and I flew to Chicago to visit them and do a bit of Christmas shopping. We had an absolute ball! I meant to blog about our trip but I never got around to it, you know, with the holiday rush and all.
Tram and Steve and Lori and Jonathon came over for dinner and we had the very best time! I’ll be posting recipes all week; appetizers, cocktails, starters, salads and even a salt block cooking recipe. I’m going to begin with a gorgeous smoked salmon appetizer. It’s hard to take that first chunk out of it because it’s so beautiful, but once you get going on it, it’s hard to stop. It’s as delicious as it is lovely.
There is no cooking involved and you’ll be using a food processor to put it together. As such, I’ll be tagging this one as an Easy-Breezy Recipe.
Once you add the herbs, you want to use the Pulse button ONLY. You don’t want the mixture to turn green from the herbs or the processor to turn the salmon and cranberries into baby food. What you’re going for is a cohesive mixture with a bit of texture.
Fresh Fruit – Smoked Salmon Spread
- 4-ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon each; fresh minced dill, mint and thyme
- 24-ounce package smoked salmon
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped dry roasted almonds
- Fresh sliced peaches, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and fresh sprigs of thyme, basil, dill, and/or mint for garnish
- Crackers for serving
Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor and blend; add the mayonnaise and salt and blend until smooth.
Using the pulse button, add in the fresh herbs with only 2 or 3 short pulses.
Drop in the smoked salmon and drained pineapple and pulse with 2 or 3 quick pulses. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the dried cranberries and only pulse 1 or 2 times.
Spray a 6-inch springform pan with Pam then line with a piece of plastic wrap that is long enough to hang over the sides of the pan. Spray the plastic wrap inside the pan with Pam.
(Alternately, you can double the recipe and use an 8-inch cake pan or an 8 to 10-inch springform.)
Use a rubber spatula to transfer the mixture from the processor to the prepared pan. Tap the pan on the counter several times to pack down the mixture. This will release any air bubbles and even out the top.
Fold the overhanging sides of the plastic wrap over the cake and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.
When ready to serve, unfold the plastic wrap from the top and invert the cake pan onto a round cake stand or serving dish, preferably a pedestal dish. Unlock the springform, if using, and use the plastic wrap to help remove from the pan. Lift off and discard the plastic wrap.
Gently press the chopped almonds to the outer edge of the cake, using a pastry brush to remove the excess from the serving dish.
Decorate the center of the cake and sides of the dish around the cake with the fresh fruits and herbs, as shown.
Serve with crackers.
Serves 8 to 10