Tag Archives: smoked salmon

Smoked Salmon Dip


It’s late October and I’m having a tough time giving up my warm weather habits…  I’m resisting the impending cold weather as long as I can.  Even if it is a bone chilling 32 degrees outside, I still prefer to order my latte over ice early in the morning on my way to work.  I know that once I start to order it piping hot, I’m going to be drinking it that way until the warm weather arrives again in the spring.  I look at it this way, we still have at least another week of glorious warm weather here in Southern Oregon and I am going to take advantage of it.  That means getting outdoors and enjoying the bright sunshine while it is still here.


While preparing my Smoked Salmon Dip for an appetizer for a dinner party later this evening, I spied some cedar waxwings in one of the trees outside my kitchen window.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and grabbed my camera.  Cedar waxwings are sleek crested medium sized birds that frequent my neighborhood in the fall of the year.  They arrive in large noisy flocks to eat the fruit off of the flowering crab apple tree in the back of the yard.  Cedar waxwings are distinctive for they look like little bandits with dark black masks streaked across their faces.


Another way of identifying a cedar waxwing is by the glossy dark grey wing feathers and bright yellow tip on its tail.  Cedar waxwings are similar to Bohemian waxwings but are smaller in size.


A pair of cedar waxwings deciding on which juicy berry they are going to pick first.  The one on top of the photo is a juvenile.  You can tell by the lightly mottled brown feathers on its breast and back.  By next spring its plumage will look like the mature adult perched on the branch below.


Cedar waxwings are without a doubt, greedy little birds.  They are in the trees as soon as the sun comes up in the morning, and they stay throughout the day, gobbling up as much fruit as they can fit into their bellies.  It’s amazing to see how many berries one single bird will gulp down.  Within a few short weeks all of the fruit will be stripped from the trees.  Regardless of what the calendar says, that in my mind, officially marks the end of the warm summer months…


After snapping a few photos of the cedar waxwings, I resumed preparing my Smoked Salmon Dip.  My Smoked Salmon Dip is light, flavorful and easy to make. It’s made with good quality smoked Oregon Chinook salmon, fluffy cream cheese, light sour cream, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  My Smoked Salmon Dip tastes amazing on crackers, toasts, chips and even fresh vegetables.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 6 ounces smoked salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • a few dashes hot sauce (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • garnish with bits of smoked salmon or fresh snipped herbs

Begin by placing the cream cheese, sour cream, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and hot sauce in a medium sized bowl.  Using a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese mixture until it is light and fluffy.  Be sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure that the mixture is well incorporated.  Break apart the smoked salmon into smaller pieces removing the skin or any bones.   Add smoked salmon to the cream cheese mixture and blend well.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Keep chilled.  Place in a dish and serve.  Garnish with bits of smoked salmon and herbs.  Makes approximately two cups.

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon

There’s never a shortage of salmon when you live in Oregon.  Bruce and I eat salmon quite often because it’s delicious, quick to prepare and most importantly, one of our favorite local ingredients.  Salmon is so versatile too.  We barbecue it, make salmon chowder, poach it, bake it, put it in tacos, make sandwiches out of it, and even put it in dips.  The number of ways to prepare fresh caught salmon is virtually endless…

Yesterday I fired up our smoker for the first time this year.  We had guests coming over for dinner later in the evening and I thought that fresh smoked salmon would be a fabulous appetizer with cream cheese and crackers.

If you are going to smoke salmon, you need to prepare the fish the day before and be ready to smoke it the next day.  Smoking salmon is really a simple process but does take a little bit of time once the salmon is in the smoker.  I like to grab a good book and have an ice cold beverage on hand during the smoking process.  Using the smoker forces me to sit down and relax for an hour or so while the fish is being smoked.

For the recipe, I adapted Alton Brown’s smoked salmon recipe.  In my opinion, any recipe by created by Alton Brown is a winner.  I’m a complete fan :).

The salmon is almost done and ready to be pulled off the smoker!  Now, all I have to do is brush it with a bit of Indonesian Soy Sauce, cover it again, and let smoke for about 15 more minutes until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  When it’s done, gently pull it off the smoker, let it cool slightly and it will be ready to serve.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 large Salmon filet (skin on, scaled, rib and pin bones removed)
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbs Indonesian Soy Sauce

Begin the night before by preparing mixing the salt, white sugar, brown sugar and cracked black pepper.  Grab a large pan and line with plastic wrap.  Put 1/3 of salt/sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Place the salmon skin side down in pan.  I cut my filet in half so it could fit in the pan and in my smoker.  Take remaining mixture and cover the top of the salmon.  Place plastic wrap directly on salmon and weigh down the fish with bricks or cast iron bacon presses.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

The next day…  Take the salmon out of the refrigerator and rinse well under cold water.  Pat dry.  It’s important to not skip this step.  Start up your smoker.  The internal temperature must be 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  I used hickory chips for a wonderful smokey flavor.

Place salmon on rack in smoker and smoke covered until the temperature of the fish reaches 130 degrees.  Brush top of salmon with Indonesian Soy Sauce.  Put lid back on and continue to smoke until the fish reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  Gently remove from smoker, let cool slightly and serve.  Refrigerate any leftovers for up to three days.