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Smoked Salmon Open-faced Sandwiches
These little open-faced sandwiches are a nice alternative to the rolled-up version made with flour tortillas. They're pretty and elegant, fairly easy and quick to make, and people really scarf them down. The recipe is adapted from Ann Hodgman's wonderful cookbook "Beat That!"
Prep Time: 00:45
Cook Time: 00:00
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest from your lemon*
3 - 4 finely-chopped scallions (including the green part, as far up as you can) or equal amount of shallots
1 - 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 heaping tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning, or to taste
1 english or hothouse cucumber, sliced very thinly
1 pound smoked salmon, or to taste
1 - 2 loaves of cocktail party rye or pumpernickel bread, depending on how thinly you want to spread the topping***
1Mix together the spread ingredients (up through the lemon pepper seasoning in my recipe) in a food processor. Then flake the salmon and mix it in with the other ingredients.
2Arrange the slices of bread on a tray or cutting board and spread the topping on each, thinly or thickly depending on how many you want to make. Slice the cucumber thinly and put four cucumber slices on top of each sandwich. If you're making a lot of these, perhaps doubling or tripling the amount, cover each layer of sandwiches with plastic wrap before starting the next one. The cucumber slices help keep the spread from sticking to the wrap.
3Refrigerate until you serve; these are best made as close to serving time as possible.
*While snooty cooks and cookbooks always say to use fresh lemon juice, no exceptions, bottled or frozen juice is perfectly fine. If you're using that, you won't have lemon zest. So you can use an ingredient called lemon oil, which is the actual flavor component in the zest and is very STRONG. Don't use more the 3-4 drops until you've tasted your mixture.
** After making this with salmon I cooked myself in an effort to save money, I decided that it made better sense just to use the real thing. Costco has a brand called "Honey Smoked Salmon" that's a little cheaper than the usual stuff.
*** I hate using store-bought bread, but you'd have to use a special pan to bake the perfectly-formed loaves that you get with good old Pepperidge Farm. The bread isn't a major component; more of a platform for everything else.
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