Quickie Hors D'oeuvre

Warmer weather means more company. At least at our house. Whether it’s Passover or Memorial Day or just a nice, sunny afternoon or balmy evening, there’s more entertaining to do.

And that means more food. Including hors d’oeuvre. Quickies. The kind you can make when you weren’t even expecting company. The kind you can whip up with a few household staples.

Like Temp Tee Whipped Cream cheese, which you can mix with all sorts of ingredients to create almost instant spreads and dips for crudites, chips, crackers, matzo. Whatever. 

I confess that Temp Tee hooked up with JoyofKosher.com and several food bloggers, asking us to create recipes using their product. It was amazingly easy for me to do though because I had been a fan for ages. I recently mentioned it in a post about when my mom “discovered” this product, and gave recipes for Inside Out Strawberries Romanoff and Baked Stuffed Potatoes.

For hors d’oeuvre it couldn’t be easier. Here’s how: place some of the cream cheese in a food processor (blender, hand mixer and bowl), add some flavoring ingredients and mix away until the spread is more or less uniform. To make a spread into a dip, mix in dairy sour cream or plain yogurt until it becomes the consistency you need.

Most of the time I use smoked or cooked salmon as the primary flavoring ingredient. (btw, you can buy the MUCH cheaper smoked salmon pieces that some stores sell rather than the expensive, hand sliced slices). But any smoked fish will do: trout, mackerel, bluefish. Because the smokey taste and the cream cheese richness are perfect together.

I always add some sort of onion: scallion, shallot, cooked leeks, red onion, plus citrus juice to give the spread a fresh zip of taste.

The other ingredients? You really don’t need any, but I always have horseradish or mustard in the house and frequently have dill or parsley in the fridge, so I add some for extra flavor. Or use freshly ground black pepper or a chili pepper.

It all works so well. You taste a little, add an ingredient, taste again and you make the spread the way you want it.

You don’t actually need fish. Deli items will do too: olives, marinated artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, capers, pickles, and so on.

Same process: place the cream cheese plus deli item(s) in the food processor, add something oniony plus citrus juice and whirl away.

And there you have it.

Make entertaining easy on yourself with these recipes for Smoked Salmon and Dill Spread and Herbed Cheese Spread. You can use either spread as is or stuff into hollowed out vegetables like cherry or grape tomatoes, cucumber rounds, zucchini and so on.