Impress Your Guests With Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

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Here is a neat way to serve smoked salmon.  Smoked salmon pinwheels on a cucumber round make a decorative mouthful for you next holiday party. These take a little bit of time to assemble so you are going to need a day of lead time to put them together.

You will need a side of thin sliced nova lox or smoked sliced salmon.  The filling is a cream cheese mixture with fresh dill weed, lemon and a hint of garlic for flavor.  Get the cream cheese soft by allowing it to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours.  Finely mince the dill weed; you will need about an ounce for a pound of cream cheese.  You can use powdered or fresh minced garlic to taste a tablespoon or so of lemon juice for a hint of lemon flavor will do the trick.

Of course salt and pepper to your taste to round out the filling.

We are going to spread out a rectangle shaped single layer of the smoked salmon, with each piece slightly overlapping the other.  Once the pieces are assembled the next step is to spread a thin layer of the mixture over the entire rectangle.  The softer the cream cheese the better, as you spread make sure that you do not separate the pieces.

Now you are ready to roll it up.  The best way to start the process is to use a bench scraper or dough knife.  Gently insert it under the edge and fold that part of the roll over on top of itself.  Continue until you have the whole roll started. Use the scraper to gently press the folded edge into the center to make sure that the roll will stay tight as you roll it. Now that the roll is started use the scraper to gently lift up  and fold into itself.  Once the roll has completed a full 360 turn you can use your hands to continue rolling a complete salmon log.  Store the left over cream cheese mixture for the next day.

The next step is to wrap and freeze the log.  The salmon is so soft that it cannot be cut unless it is partially frozen.  I find that I am able to assemble 6 logs from a side of salmon and it requires about 2 pounds of cream cheese to  finish the job.

The following day take a cucumber, score the sides with a zesting tool and slice it into eighth inch slices.  Once again the cream cheese should be soft so you want to let it warm up to room temperature.   Now use a star tip and a pastry

bag, putting a small amount of cream cheese on each cucumber slice.   Next take the log out of the freezer and let it temper for 20 minutes thawing just enough to easily slice it.  There is a secret to cutting the log, unwrap it then cover  it with a new piece of food film covering the top and sides only. (tuck the film around the top and sides only)  Now slice into quarter inch wheels by cutting directly through the food film.   This maneuver keeps the knife blade from tearing the delicate salmon and cleans the blade with each slice.

Voila, you are ready to serve your creation.  You will get about 20 servings per log.  The extra logs will store in the freezer for at least 6 months with no problems.  Below is a little more detailed sequence.   (Maybe someday I will be able to simply tell wordpress where to put the pictures in sequence, but for now you will have to use your imagination :>O

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Technorati Tags: appetizer ideas, Nova Lox, smoked salmon, smoked salmon appetizer

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