Friday, December 25, 2015

Smoked Salmon Appetizers

The "sign-up list" at my place of employment was for Christmas "finger food." It was strategically and psychologically situated at the time clock.

The day before the "feast," I worked the late shift, so that precluded nothing complicated that involved turning on an oven.

So I whipped up this non-cooked recipe. It was a snap to put together just before I left for work. It had a festive "catered" look. More importantly, it was gobbled up.

I was able to purchase the smoked salmon (lox) at a sale price. One has an option for the cheese. I used President brand "rondele." One could, of course, use a Boursin cheese or herb-flavored cream cheese. It basically depends on one's budget.

  • 3, 3-ounce packages smoked salmon
  • 2, 8-ounce containers garlic and herb spreadable cheese, room temperature
  • 20 Party Jewish Rye squares
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced into 20 thin slices
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Dill for garnish
  • Smoked paprika (optional) 

Lay out the rye squares on a foil-lined sheet pan. Pipe (or spoon) softened cheese on each square. Be generous. Angle a cucumber slice onto one side of the cheese so it "sticks." Layer slices and bits of salmon onto the cheese. Tuck in pieces of thin-sliced red onion under the salmon. Sprinkle very lightly with smoked paprika, if using. Garnish with fronds of dill. Chill before serving to firm everything up. Remove to a serving platter or leave on foil-lined pan.

Serve and watch them disappear.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Black Walnuts, Candied Cherries, with Irish Whiskey

Black walnuts have always been a favored part of my heart. My maternal grandparents had huge trees that surrounded their Indiana home. My grandpa would throw the green-encased nuts on the driveway and run over them with his blue GMC truck to crack them open. Yum.

Growing up, I also remember a wonderful black walnut ice cream under the name of Sealtest.

Anyway ... Time passes on.

It's Christmas.

For some reason, I have had black walnuts on my mind. Candied red cherries. Irish whiskey. And Soda Bread.

I thought I would put them all together for a kind of Christmas Bread.


Once I marinated the black walnuts and candied cherries in the whiskey ... I could not stop eating the nutty, sweet-sopping result ...

What to do?

I do not know.

This essence needs to be a side on its own ... for rich, dark chocolate cake and whipped cream ... or ice cream... Better yet, serve a rich brownie with a scoop of ice cream and then topped with the mixture!

  • 2 ounces chopped black walnuts
  • 4 ounces whole candied cherries, snipped with kitchen shears or cut into pieces
  • 50 ml Jameson Irish Whiskey (one of those tiny bottles)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and cover for several hours or until most of the whiskey has been absorbed. Stir every-so-often.