Party Food Help: smoked salmon, cocktail weenies

I’m serving up some new things at our annual holiday party this Sunday, and I’m not sure what to do with a couple of them. Experienced Doper cooks, please help!

Side of lemon-pepper smoked salmon
I have a platter to put it on, and I’m thinking of putting it on a bed of greens with lemon slices, sprinkling with capers and parsley, and either piping some whipped cream cheese around it and/or serving the cream cheese on the side, with crackers/bread. (Other suggestions welcomed.) But how exactly do I serve it, as in what kind of utensils? I have no idea if it’s pre-sliced, or if not, how/whether to slice it myself. Do I put out a knife? Serving fork? I want it to look nice, at least to start; I expect it to get demolished fairly quickly. I’ve been Googling, but all I can find is lists of accompaniments and pretty pictures with no serving implements in sight.

Cheddar-filled Li’l Smokies
These will be in my Nesco roaster’s chafing-dish inserts along with two other items in the other trays. I assume that they’ll need some sort of liquid to keep from drying out, but what? I asked the butcher at the grocery store, and he suggested BBQ sauce, but (1) yuck and (2) wouldn’t that be a bit of a clash with the cheese? I want to keep it fairly mild, and (3) I don’t want the other items in the roaster to taste like BBQ too. I was thinking perhaps some chicken broth, or maybe apple juice? Some sort of honey-mustard marinade?

Replies before Sunday morning gratefully accepted!!

Li’l Smokies simmered in BBQ sauce is a holiday party tradition, and they really do taste great that way. I’ve never had the cheddar-filled ones, but perhaps you could just go with the tried-and-true classic?

Already bought 'em, got no use for extras after the party . . .

In my experience, I have served small link, breakfast sausages in a dry chafer with no ill effects. They stayed hot and entirely edible-- Pretty much standard procedure on Breakfast/Brunch lines. Of course, these were fried breakfast sausages and of a fairly high fat content and therefore moist (and inevitably they do still dry out to a certain extent in a dry chafer). I’m not entirely sure how the cheese lil’smokies would keep? But to err on the side of caution I think your ideas for a sauce/liquid sound good. You might not want to drench them, rather just enough for a warm “foot bath” for the smokies, so to speak.

Regarding the salmon, the best course would be to prepare canapes ready to go…a pipe of cream cheese on a piece of party rye/pumpernickel or a cracker along with a thin slice of the salmon. Portioned and easy for your guests. Otherwise, you should at least slice the salmon if you are going to serve it and the cheese buffet style. A cocktail fork and a small butter/cheese spreading knife are the perfect tools for lox and schmear.

Smoked salmon goes howlingly well with a chutney. I like to use some kind of wild berries to carry the taste, like blueberries or craneberries.

So just whip up a chutney chopping up one apple, an onion, some fresh ginger, a couple of red chilis (keep the seeds), a sqeese of lime, a few spoonfuls of honey, a pinch of salt, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a knifetip of cinnamon and a cupful of any kind of wild berries you would like to use. Let it all simmer for good half an hour.

I usually cut the salmon in thin slices and then roll them up. You can then gather all the rolled up salmon slices on a plate with the chutney in the middle in its own bowl, surrounded by a handful of rocked salad and flatbread.

How do you slice smoked salmon? Paper thin with a carving knife at a 45 degree bias, preferably… It also depends on how well smoked the salmon is… hot smoked salmon will flake and crumble, a light smoke, cured salmon will slice nicely. If it is the granular flaky type cut straight up and down. Or you could just let the guests flake off chunks of the salmon with a fork and knife. A fish fork and fish knife service is ideal for that operation, but not necessary.

I eat smoked salmon all the time and have never had to slice it. It’s already kind of sliced. I don’t know if that’s naturally how the flesh lies or if it was sliced and then packaged. I just use a fork to jab a layer up onto my cracker, then I put some sour cream or cream cheese, capers and/or chopped red onion, and lemon juice on it. Then pop it into my mouth and do a happy mouth dance.

Most likely, it will get demolished quickly, as you say. People get a little nutso over smoked salmon.

This sort of thing appeals to me most . . . I have a bunch of other stuff to make, and while I’d love to make up little futzy trays of everything, I’m trying to keep it casual and my stress level down.

All of the ideas everyone is giving are good inspiration . . . I’ll cogitate on them some more. Thanks, guys!

I’ve also seen these kind of Serrated Pie Servers put into multi-use for this kind of thing. Put it and a fork on a salmon platter and forget about it.

Hubby’s recipe for “Drunken Dogs”

1 lb pack cocktail wieners
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
3 tbsp minced onion

Add all the ingredients together, and simmer gently for at least an hour.

We can never make enough of these when we serve them :slight_smile:


Better yet…

Put a bottle of beer (be creative , use your favorite…), a sliced shallot, 2 tablespoons of Molasses, 4 tablespoons of dark brown sugar, and 4 tablespoon’s of Gulden’s in the bottom of a chafer… swirl, add the cheesy li’ smokies. Put over the sterno for three hours.