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My apologies if you received an unfinished version of this post earlier. Somehow instead of saving an edit, I inadvertently published the post.  Please discard that mistake. Here’s the finished product that should make more sense!

I’m a fan of cooking once, eating three (five, ten) times and it’s true for fish, too.  If I have leftover salmon –which we’re supposed to eat a couple of times a week–I often make soup or a salad.  I DO realize salmon has hit this blog a few times lately, but somehow summer and salmon simply go together. I keep having bunches.

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 Quick Salmon-Irish Cheddar Chowder

IMG_6629                                              Grilled Salmon Salad Redux

A couple of times a year, though, I make some sort of a fish spread for an appetizer or even for dinner. It may be smoked fish; it may be roasted or grilled. (Make my Smoked Trout Spread here.) The basics needed are a food processor (you could surely try this with an electric mixer or even by hand if you’re strong), fish, cheese, garlic or onions, and some sort of seasonings.  From there, it’s up to you.  I like fresh herbs, a little spicy or white wine mustard, and perhaps a bit of cream if the spread is just too thick. Hot sauce, lots of pepper.  Grilled bread or crostini is the perfect accompaniment, though crackers work nearly just as well.

While you’re enjoying dinner or appetizers, you might see something like we saw during dinner at friends the other night.  Walking right by the grill as the walleye cooked!  You turkey, you.

IMG_3612Or maybe your granddaughter will provide a light moment by insisting on LOTS of barrettes for her new hairdo, as did our Piper.IMG_3614

Your baby robins could be nearly toppling out of the nest— PEEP PEEP PEEP–as are ours. (I won’t be sad to have empty nest syndrome.)

Or you could be walking at the park (I was actually driving to a meeting downtown when I snapped this) to enjoy the goslings with their parents out for an evening stroll.

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Whatever’s going on at your house this summer, take the time to whirr up my salmon spread for a very fast dinner or even for an appetizer for the Father’s Day cookout.  A little bubbly wouldn’t be amiss.  After all, dip–or spread, in this case– is always the reason for celebration, right?  As are Fathers.  (Below is mine with my mom long ago and far away.)

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Here’s some glorious dill to get you going, shown here in my old Saint Paul neighborhood….

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GARLIC-DILL SALMON SPREAD WITH SALT AND PEPPER CROSTINI (Seasoned and grilled sliced baguette)

A fun use for a little leftover salmon and a great starter for a Father’s Day cookout or any summer picnic.  Add fresh veggies instead of the crostini if you’re cutting carbs.  Want a little more zing? Add a 1/4 teaspoon horseradish. Gonna be outside?  Keep the dip in the shade in a large bowl or platter full of ice and water.

  • 6 ounces or so cooked salmon fillet (roasted, poached, or grilled)–Boned and skinned.
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ounces Cheddar cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot or red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons each fresh dill and parsley, minced plus a little parsley for garnish (or to taste)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper (can sub black pepper)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (Use another slice or two for garnish)
  • Hot sauce, a few drops or to taste
  • Milk, sour cream, or cream, if needed to thin out the spread
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil, for garnish
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Sliced baguette brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, grilled or broiled on both sides
  • Crackers or fresh veggies

Into a food processor add the first 10 ingredients (salmon – hot sauce) and process, pulsing, until well-blended and smooth.  Add milk or cream to thin the spread, if needed.  Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Using a rubber spatula, scoop out into bowl; drizzle with olive oil and give  a last sprinkle of black pepper. Garnish with parsley and lemon.  Serve with crostini (grilled bread) and/or crackers and fresh veggies.

PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE:  Recipes-Fish and Seafood-Salmon Spread

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If you liked this, you might also like my just as easy grilled appetizer…

Grilled Mini-Naan Pizzas with Caramelized Onions and Gruyere

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Sing a new song,

Alyce