Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese

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I was a Florida girl for 28 years and I’m realizing that there’s something that I definitely took for granted – a large variety of fresh fish. Sure, I can drive into Asheville to get the Ahi Tuna that was readily available in my previous local market, but the best local fish in my immediate area is catfish and trout. In fact, Parker has been asking to go fishing lately so I’m trying to get the Irishman to take him.

Once that happens, I’ll figure out what the heck to do with trout, but in the meantime, I’m getting creative with one readily available seafood item – wild Alaskan smoked salmon. The primary reason why I tended to avoid smoked salmon before is that I didn’t care for the smoky aftertaste, so I figured that if I could find a way to neutralize that, I’d be golden.

After trying a number of recipes, I ended up taking inspiration from an Emeril recipe. I liked his pairing of capers and dill with the smoked salmon so I tinkered with it a little bit and this is what I came up with.

Our ingredients: 1 teaspoon dill, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 Tablespoon capers, 2 Tablespoons softened cream cheese, 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion (I prefer red onions in this, but alas I didn’t have any). Finally, we have the star of the show – 1/4 cup chopped smoked salmon.

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Simply add all of the ingredients into your bowl with the smoked salmon and mix well. Then, pile on top of your favorite bagel and enjoy!

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My favorite thing about this breakfast is that it’s packed with protein and stays with me well into the afternoon. The acidity in the lemon cuts the smokey aftertaste that I hate and the capers and dill add a lovely fresh taste. By the way, this would be great even without the capers and I’ve eaten it that way a number of times when I was out. One package of smoked salmon usually runs about $7-9 and I usually get 4 bagel sandwiches out of the mix (you need to use the salmon within a week of opening the package).

So, if you’re looking for a way to get some quality protein and omega 3s into your diet, but you aren’t big on cooking fish, give this recipe a try. Now, if you’ll please excuse me, there’s a whole wheat bagel piled high with deliciousness calling my name.

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