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November 2000 Issue
Hors d'oeuvres for the Holidays
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

In line with the holidays that are quickly approaching, a selection of hors d'oeuvres can come in very handy. This month, I have chosen to present a few more original recipes. Having a substantial quantity of salmon from my adventures in Alaska earlier this year, I have smoked several pounds of the fish and have used this to produce some tasty snacks that are quite suitable for serving to holiday guests (or hungry kids). These innovative creations are also suitable for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

The first of these recipes -- smoked salmon dip -- sets the basis for two of the other salmon recipes. This dip was inspired by sampling a dip in a fish market in Alaska. Although I didn't care much for the dip that I sampled, I thought the concept was good and set out to better the recipe to suit my own tastes. I think you will find the results very pleasant to the palate.

The salmon dip recipe will work best with smoked salmon that is not too salty. It is better to use smoked salmon that is somewhat moist with a mild smoky flavor. For those industrious enough to smoke their own fish, you will find my favorite recipe for smoked salmon in the Seasoned Cooking archives. Everyone who tries my smoked salmon claims that it is the best they have ever tasted. Several people at work will buy fish for me to smoke in exchange for some of the fish. I always share my portion with other colleagues at work and, rest assured, it does not last long. Frequently, people will migrate over to my cubicle, following the smell that fills the vicinity. Invariably, they are in glee when I offer them a piece of the smoked salmon that I have been sharing. It's a good thing I don't work around any cats!

Smoking your own fish is not difficult if you happen to own a Weber Kettle or some similar BBQ with a cover. As an alternative, most supermarkets will carry smoked salmon that has been vacuum packed. You can experiment with the different types of smoked salmon such as Cajun style, peppered, teriyaki, etc., however, for these recipes I suggest starting with the plain alder or oak smoked salmon.

The recipes presented this month are from my yet to be published cookbook, Phil's Family and Friends Cookbook. Feel free to email me at with your comments and requests.

Now, on to the recipes!

Hors d'oeuvres for the Holidays
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