Bagels are always a favorite in my house. Fortunately there’s a good bagel source nearby, so we often have them on hand. We also like to keep something we affectionally call “salmon glop” – a smoked salmon spread with dill, spiked with lemon. It turns a plain bagel into a perfect brunch.
It tastes fantastic, but it’s also reasonably heart-healthy: we use Neuchâtel, a lower fat cream cheese. It’s also a good candidate for making ahead of time, as it keeps, covered, in the refrigerator for almost a week.
I don’t use lox in this spread. My local grocery store, bless them, hot-smokes their own salmon, so I have a ready source. You’ll also find blister-packed smoked salmon chunks (sometimes called kippered salmon) in the refrigerated section in a lot of grocery stores.
I don’t have a smoker, but for those of you who are smoking enthusiasts (and you know who you are!) here’s Alton Brown’s recipe. If you don’t have a smoker but are still interested in making your own smoked fish, you might want to check out this article on how to smoke salmon without a smoker (2 unique ways). Let me know how you like your home-smoked salmon, or better yet, send me a sample!
Smoked Salmon Spread with Dill
- 2 8-oz packages Neuchâtel, a light cream cheese or use regular cream cheese
- 6-8 oz dry-smoked salmon
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice variable -- to taste
- fresh or dried dill to taste
- Soften the cream cheese. If you’re in a hurry, unwrap it and place in a medium-sized bowl. Zap it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir vigorously.
- Remove the skin (and any bones) from the salmon. Cut it into small chunks and set it aside.
- If you’re using fresh dill weed, chop it finely.
- Stir the cream cheese well with a broad flexible spatula, then gradually add lemon juice. Taste as you go, and stop when the mixture has a definite lemony taste for you – that will be just about perfect to balance the flavor of the fish.
- Next, stir in the chunks of smoked salmon. Any large bits of fish will begin to flake apart, which is exactly what you want.
- Add dill and combine. Keep tasting it – you may find it takes a surprising amount, especially if you’re using dried dill weed. Just keep adding, stirring, and tasting the spread until you think the taste is perfect, then stop.