As the fall and winter season are upon us, it can start getting really busy. And once the holidays hit, people are in a rush for everything. It can easily become overwhelming trying to do so many things, like plan for parties, host dinners and attend them. Whether you are hosting a party this year or attending one, food is always part of the occasion. And I think that this smoked salmon dip makes one killer appetizer. Pairing it with a seasonal, seafood and fish charcuterie board will truly make it stand out. And I am going to show you exactly how to put together your own, along with the recipe for this smoked salmon dip.
This post is sponsored by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). I was compensated for my time, however all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
One of the easiest (and fanciest) options when hosting or attending a party are charcuterie boards. You can completely customize them when you make them yourself and use only the products you want to use. At first, I will admit I was a little intimidated with making my own board, but after doing it a few times and even attending a charcuterie board class, I learned how easy it is.
Now, when it comes to the type of fish and seafood you want to have on your board, and even just in your life, I highly recommend choosing sustainable options. But how do you know what is truly sustainable?
Choosing Certified Sustainable Options
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a global nonprofit organization established to protect the last major food resource that is truly wild: seafood. They work with fisheries, grocery stores, restaurants, and other companies to change the way the oceans are fished, address food fraud, and make it simple for consumers to purchase sustainable, traceable, wild seafood. If you have ever been confused as to whether or not a fish or seafood product is truly wild, then the MSC makes it easy to find out. With food fraud becoming a major problem across the world, it can be hard to know who to trust.
When shopping for fish and seafood, look for the blue MSC label that certifies the product is indeed wild and sustainably caught. Supporting sustainable products, especially fish and seafood is something that I feel so passionate about. And I make an effort to look for the blue fish label when I am out shopping. You can find MSC certified sustainable seafood at hundreds of grocery stores, and on hundreds of products either fresh, frozen, or canned. And you can find all types of seafood like scallops, cod, haddock, salmon, tuna, sweet shrimp, and more that are MSC certified. MSC options vary by region and retailers but you can find them at Loblaws, Whole Foods Markets, Costco, Walmart, Sobeys and other retailers.
How to Make a Charcuterie Board
- Think ahead: Plan out what the theme is for your board. For this one, I obviously went with a seafood and fish focused board. If it is for a holiday, that can be a theme on its own.
- Have things ready: When you are ready to assemble, have all the prep work done ahead of time. This way you can just place the items and store it until you are ready to eat. So make that smoked salmon dip ahead of time!
- Place big items on first: When laying items on your board, place all the bigger items first. So place any dips/spreads in bowls on first and then any bigger food items. For this fish board, that meant the cod fish fingers, the smoked salmon dip, the cheese, then the radicchio leaves, halloumi and then the veggies.
- Use the board: I find that boards look best when they are filled up. So don’t leave a lot of blank space. Use smaller items like fruits and veggies to tuck into small spots.
- Garnish: I find a good garnish with herbs, edible flowers or microgreens works well. This just ties it all together and gives it the finishing touch.
- Make sure you have crackers or options for dipping: Whether that is veggies, crackers or radicchio leaves, there needs to be a vehicle for your dip. Make sure to have lots of options for people to choose from. And don’t forget several cheese knives if you are serving different types of cheese.
How to Add Seafood and Fish to Your Boards (and life) Without Breaking the Bank
There is a huge misconception that seafood and fish has to be really expensive and so it is only eaten sparingly or for special occasions. While, yes this is true if you’re buying a lobster, there are plenty of affordable options. Items such as anchovies, sardines, canned tuna or salmon, and certain fish can all be purchased at an affordable price.
Smoked Salmon Dip
For this smoked salmon dip, I used MSC certified sustainable smoked salmon, along with a dairy free cashew based cream cheese. If you are fine with dairy, go ahead and use full fat cream cheese. I did add a little bit of Greek yogurt to the dip to give it a bit more flavour and dimension. You could sub that for a dairy free yogurt (unflavoured) or simply omit it. The mayonnaise is however needed in this recipe. It gives it a tangy flavour that compliments the creaminess of the cheese. A few other additions include things like capers and lemon juice (and zest) and dill. The brine from the capers is great in this recipe, but don’t do more than 1 tbsp of them, otherwise it can overpower the flavour. I left out garlic, but I think some minced garlic could be really delicious in this smoked salmon dip as well.
Almond Crusted Cod
I also created a really easy, cod fish finger recipe. If you are serving them for a crowd, this should be the last thing you pop on the board. Just broil them for a minute or two after baking to get them crispy and hot. You can dip them in any type of sauce you like, such as a tzatziki, aioli or tartar sauce. If you want to keep this recipe nut free, you can also check out my coconut crusted cod over here. Remember, just look for the MSC blue fish label on seafood products when shopping for a certified sustainable option. Another great option for serving on your seafood board could be scallops. You can find my seared scallops recipe over here and learn how to get that perfect sear. I would maybe wrap them in prosciutto and sear them and serve them while still relatively warm.
I used MSC certified smoked salmon to the smoked salmon dip, which is a great option to include on your charcuterie board. Feel free to add or use different items such as oysters, sardines, shrimp, scallops or anything else. Let your imagination run wild with this one and have fun!
If you make your own seafood platter, or SEAcuterie (HA!) or this smoked salmon dip, please tag me on Instagram and/or leave a comment below!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.
Smoked Salmon Dip
A delicious and easy appetizer perfect for entertaining, try this smoked salmon dip today!
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend/pulse until smooth and creamy and some chunks of salmon remain. Serve and enjoy!
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. You can refresh it with a bit more lemon juice if needed.
Almond Crusted Cod Fingers
Smoky, almond crusted cod fingers perfect for an appetizer.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (191ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a blender or food processor, add the almonds, paprika and sea salt and process until a fine flour is formed, about 30 seconds. Pour into a bowl.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork. Dip each piece of cod into the egg mix and then into the flour. Then place on the baking sheet.
Bake for 5 minutes per side. Broil for one to two minutes to get them crispy if desired. Serve and enjoy!