May 14, 2009

Smoked Salmon & Caper Dip

1/4 cup diced red onion
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
5 oz smoked salmon
3 tablespoons capote capers*
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Cube the cream cheese and place it in a food processor along with the salmon, capers, pepper and sour cream. Pulse until fairly smooth. Add the onions and pulse once. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving and refrigerate any leftovers.

Yield: about 1 cup

*These are the large sized capers. They have more caper taste and work best in this dip. If you must, substitute the smaller, nonperil capers.

My thoughts:
One of our favorite local places to eat, the Hamilton Tavern has a neat feature on their menu. Every day (week?) there is a different, often seasonal dip that is served with appropriately matched dippers like homemade potato chips, pita or vegetables. One day we went and the dip was smoked salmon. I can never resist smoked salmon anything so we ordered it and it was really good, thick and creamy with bits of salmon, capers and red onion. It was like everything I love on a bagel in a dip!

Of course they aren't in the business of handing out their recipe and I have no way of knowing when it will make its way back on the menu so I decided to create a recipe based on what I had there so I can have it whenever I want. I added more smoked salmon (more from the delicious Just Cured) than I think was in the original and thinned the cream cheese out a bit with some sour cream. It is the creamiest, tastiest dip I've had in ages. Think about your best bagels and lox experience and subtract the bagel. Smoky, salty, savory. Yum. I had it on chips because what better excuse to buy chips is there than making dip? Plus eating on chips reminded me of my childhood tendency to dip Utz chips in straight cream cheese. However, it is also really good or with crackers, celery and sesame pretzels. It is a rather thick dip and can be used as a spread on small rounds of bread