Layered Salmon Spread

31 Comments

One day I was searching on Epicurious.com and came across a recipe that got my attention. The recipe is “Smoked Salmon 7-Layer Dip.”

The name befuddled me at first, because when I think of layered dips my mind goes directly to Mexican-inspired dips with beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa, and so forth. Although I have presented a Mediterranean version of a layered dip on my blog. But still, smoked salmon?

Furthermore, it’s not lox in this dip – it’s hot-smoked salmon. I was truly curious.

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Before I could put the spread together, I hot-smoked salmon steaks. My Cameron stove-top smoker is so useful for salmon. In fact, it’s primarily why I use it.

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If you want to know how I hot-smoked salmon with this smoker, please refer to the post here.

You can change up the wood you use for the smoke, but it’s essential to not overcook the salmon. Like in the tutorial, I smoked these steaks for 15 minutes, timed from when the smoking begins.

Here is the recipe as I adapted it:

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Smoked Salmon 7-Layer Dip

2 salmon steaks, seasoned with salt and pepper
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 small cooked beets
2-3 tablespoons creamy horseradish, depending on your taste
4 tablespoons sour cream
4 radishes, trimmed, finely chopped
Drained capers, about 1/3 cup
Chopped green onions
Zest from 1 lemon
Pumpernickel bread

After smoking the salmon, remove it from the skin, flake it, and divide in half. From the beautiful photograph of this spread online, it’s obvious that the salmon was more finely chopped. It’s another option.

Beat together the cream cheese, goat cheese, and butter in a medium bowl; set aside

Make the beet horseradish by combining the beets, horseradish and sour cream in a small blender. The texture should be spreadable.

Have the radishes, capers, and green onions on hand. I had intended on including shallots but I simply forgot.

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This spread could be made in a springform pan lined with plastic wrap and flipped over when ready to be served, but I simply used the 6″ greased form without the bottom to mimic a ring mold. Place the form, if you’re using one, on a serving plate.

Spread half of cream cheese mixture evenly inside the ring mold, smoothing surface with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the cream cheese with half of the salmon.

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Scatter the radishes and capers over the salmon. Drizzle half of the beet horseradish sauce over the top.

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Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture and salmon. I poured the remaining beet horseradish sauce over the salmon.

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Scatter on more radishes and capers.

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Sprinkle the green onions in the middle, and for a little color and zing, I added lemon zest.

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Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To serve, simply slide the springform mold up. I would suggest leaving the spread at room temperature for at least one hour before serving.

The layered spread is absolutely vibrant.

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I served with the spread with pumpernickel triangles. Bagel crisps or pita chips would also be good.

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The spread can be made the morning of, but I wouldn’t make it the day before serving.

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Grilled salmon would work just as well as hot-smoked.

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Note: In the original recipe, the feta-cream cheese and the beet horseradish were all blended together, which made the spread very pretty, but I wanted more actual layers, so I kept those elements separate.

31 thoughts on “Layered Salmon Spread

  1. I love smoked salmon! I use a jury-rigged aluminum foil contraption whenever I do this (not very often — more typically I’ll grill it outside), but should really get one of those smokers. They look like fun! And a lot easier to use than my method. :-) Good spread — thanks.

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    • I love it. The smoke really bothers my husband. It just smells like salmon to me, but it’s like breathing in smoke I guess, if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing. Like a fire burning outside – not cigarette smoke! We just have to air the house out. You could put the smoker over a gas grill flame I guess, too, so the smoke stays outside.

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  2. Dear Chef Mimi,

    I need a new exciting spread recipe. This looks perfect. Will let you know how it turns out.
    RuthAnn
    inspiringcuisine.com

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  3. Wow, what an exciting presentation and beautiful dip! I love all the flavors except the beets, but they sure do add a pop of color. I wonder how it would taste without it? Just thinking out loud. Great recipe Mimi!

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  4. The beats are such a surprise in this dish! Ever since you posted on the Cameron smoker, I’ve been meaning to buy one. Here I am again – fingertips at Amazon.com! I use a lot of hot smoked salmon and this could save me a fortune! And, I will get to try this wonderful dip. Can’t wait!

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    • It would save money… And t’s so handy. Honestly this spread would be just as good with grilled salmon, but if you love hot-smoked salmon, the contraption isn’t expensive and I love it!

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  5. That is a true beauty! Love the color, flavor and overall texture of this dip! I’ve never used a smoker, so I was really intrigued :-)

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