This Salmon Cream Cheese Dip is CRAZY GOOD!  It’s a recipe of my mother in law’s that I tweaked just slightly because she doesn’t really measure it and I thought you guys would appreciate some actual measurements of the ingredients.  I first tried this dip when she was helping us with our house and brought it over for lunch.  We were driving to Ikea looking for a bathroom vanity (not the right place to find one!) and my stomach began growling like a mama bear guarding her cubs! 

I gave a little giggle and began looking for a fast food restaurant (this was our 2 weeks of shame eating out for every meal because there was NO time to cook).  Instead she reached under her seat and handed me a plastic container and crackers.  The satisfying pop of the lid coming off promised a treasure hidden inside, a promised realized as the scent of smoked salmon wafted up to my nose.

A smile spread across my face and I couldn’t get the crackers open fast enough!  The dip was incredible and I couldn’t stop eating it.  Finally we arrived at Ikea and I longingly left the van with the dip locked inside.  Unfortunately they didn’t have any nice bathroom vanities, I should have stayed with the salmon dip!

I emailed her last week for the recipe because I knew this would be the perfect thing to have on hand for the crazy days of packing and moving.  She did her best guess at measurements, and I played around to get the perfect ratio of salmon to cream cheese.  It was great with cucumber spears, crackers, mixed in pasta, and even in sushi!

I made this with leftover salmon that we had for dinner which was cooked with garlic cloves tucked into it.  If you’re using canned salmon or salmon cooked plain, I’d suggest adding some minced garlic or garlic powder to your dip.  The secret ingredient in this dip is liquid smoke!  It gives a deep smoky flavor that lingers in your senses and creates visions of salmon smokehouses in your mind.

Give this dip a try for your next busy week, or party, or even something cold to take to work for lunch.  Any other ideas for how to use it?

Salmon Cream Cheese Dip

makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

2 cups torn up salmon
12 oz (or 1 1/2 cups) cream cheese
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp minced onion (I used a microplane grater)
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 8 turns of pepper grinder)

Instructions

Mix everything together really well.  Yes that’s it!  I used a stand mixer for speed, but you can mix it by hand too.  Store in the refrigerator and serve hot or cold.

Approximate cost/serving: Our salmon was some tasty coho given to us by friends, but at the typical cost of getting our salmon it would be $5 to make the dip.  But it can feed 20 people as an appetizer at a party, so it’s only 25 cents a person!!!

Gluten Free: Yes!  Serve with cucumbers and carrot sticks for a gluten free snack, appetizer, or meal.


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