Smoked Salmon Appetizers Bursting with Flavor.
These little Smoked Salmon Appetizers are bursting with mind blowing amounts of flavor and guaranteed to impress. Homemade Cheddar and Chili Crackers are topped with a dollop of garlic mayonnaise, a slice of avocado, a few flakes of chili smoked salmon, and a spoonful of Chimichurri Sauce.
When serving a crowd, I have a few rules for the appetizers:
- They must be finger food
- They should be impressively delicious, but not too heavy
- Most, if not all, preparation must be done in advance
These Spanish Avocado Salmon Bites fit all three of those requirements. PLUS, they are - and I'm not exaggerating here - one of the most delicious things to have ever come out of my kitchen. I am trying to decide just how to use words on a screen to impart how flavor packed these little smoked salmon appetizers are. I think it might be impossible.
I created this recipe last November for a local magazine that wanted a recipe for a nontraditional Thanksgiving appetizer. Since then, these little smoked salmon appetizers have accompanied us to dinner parties, book club meetings, Christmas gatherings, and New Year's brunch. If you come to my house for dinner, this is how we're going to start the meal. No question.
They are so packed with flavor that they will literally stop all conversation in their tracks, turning the subject to, "What are these?!?" And, "You have got to try one of these." I'm telling you. This is why I haven't even considered making another appetizer since last November. So....
What has taken me so long to publish this recipe?
I don't know. I really don't. But, with Mother's Day right around the corner, I think it's time. Your mother deserves to eat these on Mother's Day. If you're a mother, YOU deserve to eat these on Mother's Day, and on any other day you feel like it.
Homemade Cheddar and Chili Crackers
If you've never made homemade crackers, they're a breeze. Seriously. People will be so impressed, but homemade crackers are simply a matter of making dough in the food processor, rolling it out, cutting out crackers, and baking them. I've even baked these crackers in my toaster oven, and they came out perfectly. (My oven went out, I had promised to bring an appetizer to a party, and, as previously stated, bringing anything else was inconceivable.)
This recipe for Cheddar and Chili Crackers is simply a version of this All-Purpose Cheese Crackers Recipe. The recipe below will give you approximately 60 crackers, but can easily be doubled - something I'd recommend, no matter how many salmon bites you plan to make. The crackers by themselves are delicious, great to have on hand, and will keep for up to 3 weeks.
The crackers and chimichurri sauce can be made in advance.
Chimichurri sauce is simply a blend of fresh herbs, vinegar, oil, and spices. It comes together in just a few minutes in your food processor and will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Once you've made the crackers and chimichurri sauce, the rest is just assembly, and even that can be done a few hours before serving.
Incidentally, the flavors in these smoked salmon bites also inspired this recipe for Four Cheese Smoked Shells with Chili Smoked Salmon and Chimichurri Sauce. So, if you like the flavors in these little appetizers, you're pretty much guaranteed to like the stuffed shells as well.
Used in this Recipe:
Other Recipes You Might Like:
- Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
- Four Cheese Stuffed Shells with Smoked Salmon and Chimichurri Sauce
- All-Purpose Homemade Cheese Crackers
- Overnight Homemade Sticky Buns
Spanish Avocado Smoked Salmon Bites
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
These super simple appetizers are really just about assembling little stacks of high quality flavor-packed ingredients into bite sized packages.
FOR THE CRACKERS:
- 4 oz. (1½ cups) unbleached, all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 oz. (1 stick or ½ cup) of butter, cut into cubes
- 1-2 teaspoon cold water
TO ASSEMBLE THE SMOKED SALMON BITES:
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 or 2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch thick slices, each slice cut into pieces that are about the length of the crackers. Sprinkle cut slices with salt.
- 1 lb smoked salmon (I used my local market's Chili Smoked Salmon, but use whatever brand or flavor of smoked salmon that’s available and sounds good to you)
- ¾ cup Chimichurri sauce
MAKE THE CRACKERS:
- Add the flour, sugar, salt, black pepper, and chili powder to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse a couple of times to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the cheese and pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add the butter, all at once, and pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Sprinkle in the water, and pulse a few more times, just until the mixture starts to look like dough. (It the dough is still quite dry, sprinkle in another teaspoon or two of water.)
- Dump the dough - which will be a bit crumbly - into a large bowl or onto a clean work surface. Press the dough together and knead a few times with your hands to bring the dough together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 1 day.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and have at the ready: a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, a 1 ½-inch biscuit cutter or sharp knife or pastry wheel, a cup of flour, a large flat spatula, and a rolling pin.
- Sprinkle some flour across a clean works surface. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it and lay it on the work surface. Dust the top with a sprinkling of flour. Roll the dough into a thin sheet, approximately ⅛ inch thick. (NOTE: If the dough has been in the refrigerator for several hours, you'll probably have to let it soften on the counter for 10 - 15 minutes to let the butter soften before rolling out.)
- Run the spatula underneath the dough from all sides to loosen any dough that's stuck to the work surface. Cut out the crackers with the biscuit cutter and lay them on the baking sheet very close together, but not touching. (You can also cut the crackers into squares with a knife or pastry wheel.)
- Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the edges of the crackers are starting to brown. Remove from the oven onto a wire rack and allow the crackers to cool completely on the sheet. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
ASSEMBLE THE SALMON BITES:
- Mix the mayonnaise and garlic together in a small bowl.
- Lay a cracker on a work surface or platter. Top with about 1 teaspoon garlic mayo. Lay a slice or two of avocado over the garlic mayo. Top avocado with about ½ oz smoked salmon and then drizzle with about 1 teaspoon chimichurri sauce.
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. These are best if allowed to come to room temperature before serving.
- Prep Time: 90 minutes (includes time for the dough to rest in the refrigerator
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
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