When I was in college, I made something very similar to this version of a stuffed cucumber. However, mine was the simple college version with all store bought ingredients. Now, I have my own herbs I can use to brighten up the dish. I remember cutting the cucumbers into slices, smearing on a teaspoon of herb cream cheese, and topping it with small slices of smoked salmon. For my revised version, I made it appetizer friendly for a crowd. I actually brought this dish to Ravinia to see Carrie Underwood. A quick tip though…..put it in Tupperware with a lid. I had mine on a plate with plastic wrap…not such a good idea.
- 1 pkg mini cucumbers (mine came with 7)
- 8 oz. whipped cream cheese
- 8 oz. smoked salmon, cut into strips
- 2 T fresh chives, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 T fresh tarragon (or dill), chopped
- reserved inside of cucumber
- salt for seasoning
1. Slice cucumbers in half, length wise, and scoop out the inside using a 1/2 t or mini melon baller. Scoop the insides of the cucumbers into a separate bowl (you may need to chop them up first). Your cucumbers should resemble little boats. Lightly sprinkle salt on the insides of the cucumbers.
2. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and fresh herbs. Then, add the reserved cucumber a little at a time until you get to a desired taste. Lay the cucumbers out flat so the inside is facing up.
3. Scoop the cream cheese mixture into a sandwich size Ziploc bag. Squeeze it towards one of the corners. Cut a small piece off the corner (it should only be air) and pipe the cream cheese mixture into the cucumbers (like icing a cake or a cookie). You will have cream cheese left over. Do not add too much or it will get messy.
4. Place several strips of smoked salmon on each stuffed cucumber. You will have some salmon left over if using 7 or 8 cucumbers. Top with fresh chives and serve!
Observations: The cream cheese can get quite messy. I would recommend letting the appetizer chill in the fridge once it is done. If it sits out too long, the cream cheese soft and starts to run. As I was making this, I realized I was going to have some cream cheese mixture and smoked salmon left. I decided to use it for breakfast the next day on some eggs. I made two eggs over easy topped with the smoked salmon and a dollop of the cream cheese mixture. It was delicious!
Analysis: When I made this for Ravinia, I used half tarragon and half chives for the herbs. I felt the tarragon was too overpowering, but I still liked the taste it gave the cream cheese. In the materials, I cut down on the amount and tarragon and increased the amount of chives. Right now, my dill is deader than a doornail and I don’t feel like buying it in the store. Otherwise I would have tried dill since it marries so well with smoked salmon and cream cheese. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy the tarragon was. I would definitely recommend making this if you like smoked salmon! Even people who don’t like smoked salmon have tried this and loved it. Let me know if you do!