Although tapas originated in Spain, the name has become ubiquitous on menus featuring all different types of cuisine. Meaning appetizer or snack, tapas are a great way to either try several small plates of different foods or to tide you over until the next meal. Tapas can be hot or cold and range from vegetable and cheese to meat and fish dishes.
This recipe for salmon with cream cheese (Salmon Ahumado con Queso Blando) shows you how to make a delicious tapa that you can serve along with a Spanish omelet, chorizo sausage, other varieties of tapas, or with a glass of Spanish wine as an afternoon snack.
Smoked salmon is a fillet of salmon that has been cured and either cold or hot smoked. For this recipe, you want to use a cured salmon that has been cold smoked, which is either labeled cold-smoked salmon or Nova lox. Nova lox is lox—cured salmon from the belly of the fish—that is cold smoked. It originally came from Nova Scotia (hence the name) but now originates from almost anywhere.
- 1/2 French-style baguette
- 1/2 pound cream cheese or any mild soft cheese
- 1/2 pound smoked salmon
- 2 lemon slices
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Cut the baguette into slices approximately 1/4-inch thick. Place slices on a baking sheet and lightly toast both sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Allow them to cool 3 to 4 minutes.
- Spread cheese over each piece of toast.
- Cut salmon into toast-size pieces and place over cheese.
- Serve with lemon slices, as your guests may wish to squeeze lemon over top.
Tips and Variations
Store-bought smoked salmon will come layered in the package, with slices resting on top of each other.
Before cutting into pieces, you will want to separate the layers to see how big they are and how much you need to cut. Place each piece on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice, or, better yet, cut with kitchen shears. If you've purchased a whole fillet of smoked salmon, you will want to use a very sharp knife to slice somewhat horizontally across the fish. It is best to do this when the salmon is cold, but smoked salmon is ideal served at room temperature.
If you are planning on using a cheese other than cream cheese, good alternatives are goat cheese, Brie cheese, and St. Andre. They are all spreadable (just be sure to get the soft goat cheese) and have a mild flavor.