Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smoked Salmon Dip | #SoLetsPigOut

It's summer, bikinis are overrated, and it stays light out super late. So….LET’S PIG OUT. But seriously. #SoLet’sPigOut is a virtual potluck hosted by two super cool gals, Emily and Gina. It’s basically a rad excuse to get together with some of the coolest people on the internet-block/planet for a midsummer celebration of the season's finest eats. I’m talkin’ apps, snacks, desserts, entrees, drinks…all the recipes you need for a really great summer potluck, from 25 awesome food bloggers. I’m bringing the smoked salmon dip!

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Thick, creamy, smoky, delicious. This dip is a staple in my family. My mom has been making it my entire life.

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat My hometown is nestled in between the Columbia River and the Klickitat River, bordering towns with names like Trout Lake and White Salmon, so needless to say, there was a lot of fish in my childhood. Like, a lot of fish. My parents were pretty avid fishermen (fisherman & fisherwoman? fisher-people?) when I was growing up, especially during salmon season. Amanda and I refer to one summer of our lives as “The Summer Mom and Dad had OCFD.” That’s obsessive compulsive fishing disorder, in case you were wondering. We were middle school aged, so old enough to be home alone, but too young to drive. Did I mention we lived in the middle of nowhere, miles away from friends? Oh, and we only had 5 tv channels? And this was before internet-at-home? Yeah, we really had to use our imaginations back then.

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat So anyway, Mel & John were out salmon fishing from sun up to sun down every single day (ok, maybe they worked too, who knows?), leaving Amanda and I to fend for ourselves. Maybe that’s where I learned to love cooking? Survival, I tell you. She and I both remember the cupboards being bare that summer, but that’s probably just our memories playing tricks on us—if you saw my parents’ cupboards you’d understand why that probably wasn't true...I think they’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse. But about the salmon: we literally got tired of salmon. It’s the one thing we remember eating that summer. We basically lived off of my dad’s hot-smoked-canned salmon, grilled salmon (either Jamaican jerk rubbed or mayo-seasoning salt rubbed, which by the way, makes the best grilled salmon ever), and batches of Mel’s salmon dip (made from leftover grilled salmon and/or salmon that she cooked just to make dip).

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Now, of course, I realize how lucky we were. What I wouldn’t give for unlimited salmon that doesn’t cost a month’s rent! Leftover salmon? Please. These days I make Mel’s salmon dip with store bought canned salmon, because you better believe if I’m forking out a full paycheck for fresh fish, I’m grilling it and eating it all in one sitting right then and there. Luckily, Mel’s dip recipe has some secret ingredients that give the illusion of tons of super smoky smoked salmon, without actually using smoked salmon. Genius, that woman! 

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat This recipe is also super simple and comes together in the blink of an eye, which means you'll have extra time to make other #SoLetsPigOut potluck recipes! YES! Check out the recipes at The Pig & Quill and So…Let's Hang Out

Mel's Smoked Salmon Dip

We have lots of good canned salmon in the PNW, but if you can't find anything local, I've found the Trader Joe's canned salmon is pretty good! Just avoid anything that has skin with it, no bueno. Use 2 6oz cans, or equivalent cooked salmon. For fun, I bought a little 2 oz chunk of smoked salmon and mixed that in as well. You can serve with any crackers or veggies, but the classic summer-of-OCFD version calls for Saltine crackers. 

2 6oz cans salmon, drained
2 oz chunck of smoked salmon (optional)
1 8oz brick cream cheese, softened to room temp
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce (more or less, depending on preference)
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Stir everything together until fully combined. That's it! Add more lemon juice or liquid smoke if you desire. Store in the fridge in an airtight container. 

PS. I knew making this dip look pretty would be a challenge. The quickest way to tell if food looks gross? Have a second grader take it to school for lunch and see how many kids make fun of it and are grossed out by it. Yep, I was that second grader you guys. In the end I was the lucky one with this dip in my lunch, but man, sometimes a kid just wants a Lunchable like everyone else, ya know?   
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9 comments

  1. Ooooh! This looks AWESOME! Love me some smoked salmon. My husband is from WA state, so when ever we go to visit you might find me hoarding the stuff. ;) So glad that you participated in our crazy internet shindig! Happy to have connected with you. <3

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    1. Thanks Gina! Loved being a part of it. And you know I love me some fellow Washingtonians!

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  2. Looks good! Can you please bring some to softball. Casey will love this!

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  3. I make a trout dip that is very similar to this and it is always a huge hit! This sounds delicious!! Love the addition of liquid smoke!

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    1. Oooh, my dad is smoking a bunch of trout right now... might have to let him know about your dip!

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  4. Oh this looks simply divine. I used to be obsessed with the Trader Joe's version when I lived in L.A., so I'm now excited to start making my own!

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    1. Thanks Rachel! I've never had the TJ's version!

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  5. bikinis are TOTALLY overrated. and i want this dip in my belly. growing up back east I remember eating marlin dip like it was my day job, but now that I'm officially a PNW-er I better hop on this salmon train, yes?

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    1. Molly, you must get on the salmon train (boat?) to be a proper PNWer. PNwesterner?
      PS. I've never had marlin...if it weren't for a team called the Marlins, I wouldn't even know it exists...

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