I have crazy respect for anyone who can host a dinner party with grace and ease, because when I do any sort of cooking (or baking), the kitchen look like a disaster zone, and if things start to get hectic, I just become a total mess. Come to think of it, this is probably why some people advocate cooking with wine... Anyhow, I do love the idea of entertaining - just not so much the image of me dealing with so many different kitchen tasks at once while trying to make everything look presentation-perfect - so my official solution is to just keep things as easy and do-ahead as possible. And these little salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber bites are seriously dead-easy; don't let the fancy presentation fool you (just your guests; they can totally be fooled). ;)
The bites start out with Breton Gluten-Free Crackers, which I've recently discovered and am now totally into, mostly because any food that can get away with being gluten-free and not leave you feeling cheated is 100% up my alley. I'm loving them for all the different varieties that can play into so many other flavors for everything from classy appetizers to healthy snacks; it makes being creative in the kitchen so much easier! For the bites, I used their White Bean crackers with Sea Salt & Pepper - not too overwhelming to mix with a lot of different ingredients, but still packed with plenty of flavor to stand out in the final dish. Plus, how good does that combo sound?? Believe me - GOOD. Annnnnd they're pretty guilt-free thanks in part to all those beans (the main ingredient!); every serving packs 2 grams each of fiber and protein, very little saturated fat, and absolute NO cholestoral, trans fats, or artificial colors and flavors. I'm really not one to eat much packaged food, but something like this, I can get behind!
I made these for a Friday-night dinner thinking that they'd be the perfect wind-down with a glass of white wine (which they definitely were!), and since I wanted to keep them extra-easy to whip up but still a little gourmet-ish and exciting, I decided to do a twist on the classic smoked salmon and cream cheese duo to make a quick appetizer. The cream cheese is whipped with fresh avocado to keep things light but intriguing, and then you just top each off with a slice of fresh cucumber and a bit of smoked salmon. Sprinkle on some freshly ground pepper and a few minced chives and - BAM - appetizers are ready!
Just don't forget the white wine ➝ perfect finishing touch!
Smoked Salmon & Cucumber Bites with Avocado Cream Cheese
A simple but elegant, gluten-free appetizer to serve for any gathering!
- Yield: 10 bites 1x
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- ½ avocado
- 10 Breton White Bean with Salt & Pepper Gluten-Free Crackers
- 10 slices cucumber
- 10 pieces smoked salmon
- fresh chives, minced
- freshly ground black pepper
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or using a bowl and handheld electric mixer), whip the cream cheese and avocado together until smooth.
- Transfer avocado cream cheese to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip (I used Ateco 827) and pipe onto crackers*. Top each cracker with a slice of cucumber, a piece of smoked salmon, a sprinkle of minced chives, and freshly ground pepper. Serve fresh.**
*If you don't have a piping bag, you can use a ziploc with one corner cut off to pipe the avocado cream cheese, or just spread onto crackers generously with a knife.
**This appetizer is best assembled within an hour or so of serving, since the crackers will soften up a bit after a while.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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