Salmon Cheese Spread – PLUS: How To Get More Salmon in Your Life

Fast, simple app or fun dinner. #justaddrosé

I love salmon and maybe you do, too? Perhaps like me, you still occasionally wonder about what else you could do with it despite your unwavering devotion. You could just want better quality fish or how about a better $$ deal? (More later on that.) There are times I move into the fancy-schmancy or innovative lane — mostly because some uber ripe produce is shooting me dark looks from the counter or it could be I’m dreaming of a company meal even when no company’s in sight. Like lately. I miss friends and family coming for dinner. Most of us do, I guess–even those who don’t like to cook!

Other nights, dinner needs to be tasty, but fast (this one’s 20 minutes)...and it’s salmon night, so I make:

So how often are you supposed to have salmon?

Salmon is a fatty, nutrient-rich fish that’s low in mercury. This means that this extremely popular fish is a particularly healthy food choice. According to the American Heart Association, you should eat at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fish per week, and one of them should come from a fatty fish, like salmon.

live strong.com

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recipe/post (uses 3 ounces leftover salmon)

Wow. Fish twice a week; I don’t think I usually get that accomplished. Low bow if you do. But we try; we don’t give up–especially during Covid-Time when one of the things we actually can do is improve our health with a better diet. And an easy way to move toward that healthier weekly menu is to suss out different preparations, new recipes, or even different fish than we’re used to. But I digress; this post is about salmon. One way to be more intentional about getting salmon into the rotation is to name a night, “Salmon night.” There’re Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays and why shouldn’t there be — oh, Salmon Sundays, maybe? Except I don’t cook on Sunday night, though lots of people do as it’s a day off. Hmm, could be that SALMON SUNDAYS are about to be a thing? Or….a good friend of mine always said they had salmon on Mondays because THE GARBAGE TRUCK CAME ON TUESDAYS. Great thought, right! Especially in the summer. Choose your night OR day; serve salmon. That doesn’t mean you have to grill a whole side of salmon or even pan-roast/grill fillets at dinnertime. You could snag a can of salmon for lunch and make salad for sandwiches just like you do with tuna….or add a little to your scrambled eggs or omelet on Saturday morning… or even make Salmon patties for benedicts on Sunday. Though, hey, what about Salmon Chowder (below) or Salmon-Asparagus Risotto (above)–made from leftovers?! Both are house favorites for when we have a bit of extra fish on the verge of getting fishy in the fridge. (Scroll down to MORE INFO THAN YOU WANTED for more ideas about salmon, recipes, and where to get good $$ deals.)

So what fish (including salmon) are ok to eat? (Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch)

recipe/post (uses 6-8 ounces leftover salmon)

Back to the spread as advertised. So now that I’ve got you in the mood for salmon, I’ll encourage you to use that one small piece you’ve got floating around sometime to make my Salmon-Cheese Spread. You’ll be glad you did. Try this:

salmon cheese spread

A little piece of leftover salmon can go in many directions, but one of the quickest is to whirr it up in the food processor to make a spread – often with vegetables and fresh herbs. This time, I had both cream cheese and Cheddar that needed using, so went the cheesy route. Some great toasted or grilled bread or crackers, a few fresh veggies, and there’s an app plate or even a hot night dinner. Substitutions? Butter or goat cheese can take the place of cream cheese or you might even try more mayo, yogurt, or sour cream. No Cheddar? Use another grateable cheese like Pepper Jack, Gouda, Mozzarella, etc. Fresh or dry herbs such as cilantro, basil or oregano can fill in for the dill, too, depending on what cheeses you’ve used.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cooked salmon skinned and checked for bones (Chop through it with a knife before adding to the food processor to make sure you missed no bones.)
  • Garlic clove minced
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 ounces grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Generous pinch each kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: Dijon-style mustard and dry dill weed can sub 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 4-5 shakes hot sauce or to taste I like Tabasco.
  • 1-2 teaspoons mayonnaise to smooth out the spread can sub milk, yogurt, etc.
  • Minced fresh chives or scallions for garnish–optional

Instructions

  • Place the salmon, garlic, both cheeses, salt, pepper, mustard, dill, and hot sauce in the food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process, pulsing, until nearly smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add mayonnaise a teaspoon at a time, pulsing again, until the texture is totally smooth and spreadable. Taste and adjust seasonings a last time. Spoon into a small bowl and top with minced chives or scallions, if using. Serve at once with toasted bread or crackers. Store leftovers well-covered in the refrigerator for a day.

Notes

No food processor? Make sure all of your ingredients are well-chopped or grated and at room temperature, then blend with electric mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon.
Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2020. All rights reserved.

MORE INFO THAN YOU WANTED:

More Time at the Table’s 10 Favorite Salmon Recipes/2018

The Complete Guide to Salmon: Buying and Storing Salmon/YUMMLY (June, 2020)

The Best Places to Buy Fish Online/EPICURIOUS (March, 2020)

The Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Fish (Including Salmon)/KITCHN.com/Lauren Masur (June, 2020)

Corner Post Meats (Black Forest, CO) sells not only wild caught, shipped from AK salmon, but also halibut and black cod along with their flagship beef, pork, etc. Local pick-ups on Saturday mornings only (order online earlier in week) or they ship within continental U.S.

Is Farmed Salmon Bad for You/ONE MEDICAL (January, 2019)

Health Benefits of Salmon/WebMD (2019)

above: I haven’t blogged this yet, so there’s no recipe to print–but you get the idea.

oven-roasted side of salmon: recipe/post (425 degrees F for about 12 minutes–talk about fast food with leftovers)


LIFE GOES ON:

almost impossible to see, but this is a very orange bobcat that just meandered through our yard and into the parkland east of us
look closely–a ground rainbow
got a sous vide for an anniversary gift and have been trying it out. more later.
cleaned windows last week–why didn’t we do that earlier?! (window boxes are full of lettuce ready to harvest)

As we feel increasingly unable to control so very many things, it can feel good to plant feet firmly in front of the stove and come up with both sustenance and comfort. Having appetizers for dinner one night counts as fun in the current world. Open that bottle of wine, take the whole shebang to the living room coffee table, light a candle or two, and turn the music on. A bit of dancing, too? Maybe read a story or poem out loud or how about a game of Scrabble or Solitaire?

Choose laughter and cook some salmon,

Alyce

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