Every once in a while we crave the uncomplicated. You know how it goes don't ya? A fridge filled with fresh ingredients, a pantry filled with great things and none of it looks interesting. That was the lay of the land in our house last night.
As a result, I had no choice but to come up with something interesting from what was ready on hand (in other words ...leftovers), so I unearthed the extra piece of herb crusted salmon from the other night and mixed up one of our favorite munchie dishes. Mixed with cream cheese, sour cream, lemon rind and juice, as well as minced sweet onion along with horseradish and lots of fresh dill, the flakey salmon morphed into one of the best excuses for salmon salad on earth.
Arranged on a platter with leftover meatloaf and Caponata from the other day, assorted cheeses, pickles, crackers and bread fresh from the oven, dinner was highly enjoyable - if I do say so myself.
Incidentally in case you're wondering what's in the little cast iron pan on the upper left of the photo, wonder no longer. From Pasture Pride, a Wisconsin cheesemaker, it is Juusto, a Scandanivian style baked cheese that has a buttery flavor and very dense texture. This one is flavored with Italian herbs. To serve it, you warm it up until it glistens then cut it into pieces to eat. The amazing thing is that the cheese doesn't melt but holds a firm squeaky texture even when all warmed up and glistening.
Did we like it? Uh not much, but in all fairness it was an afterthought to our menu so I'm not sure we gave it the attention it deserves, especially since we didn't serve it with a little Marinara sauce as recommended. It is not at all what we expected so we'll have to give it another chance in the future. If we can forget that it's a "cheese" and treat it more like a cracker, we might have a winner here.
Salmon Spread with Horseradish (an original from JBug’s Kitchen)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sour cream
Rind of whole lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2 teaspoons horseradish
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons minced sweet onion
8 ounces leftover cooked sockeye salmon (cold)
In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese, sour cream, lemon rind, lemon juice and horseradish, salt and pepper until mixture is smooth. Flake salmon and check for bones, then add to cheese mixture along with dill and sweet onion. Fold to incorporate. Chill a minimum of 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers or assorted breads and pickles.
A year ago - Polenta Tamale Torte
Two year's ago - Country Style Ribs and Beans