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Smoked Mussel Appetizers with Cream Cheese

Smoked Mussel Appy 1

Well, today’s post is not really a recipe as such, but rather a simple little idea that I play around with sometimes when my wife and I feel like a light little snack. Smoked oysters or mussels are probably a little passé as a formal hors d’oeuvre these days but having a few cans in the cupboard can be handy for putting together a little treat if you like getting a little creative with them…

I can’t remember exactly where it was that I was first served smoked oysters on top of cream cheese, but I have borrowed the idea as a basic theme quite often and quite frequently substitute one of the commercial chip dips for the plain old Philadelphia. On this occasion, I used a variety containing garlic and chives that my wife is fond of and I spread it on some nice little crackers made with a little depression in the center. For the garnish, I shredded a little lettuce and then tossed it with some of the oil from the mussel can mixed with lemon juice. Lemon works really well with either smoked oysters or mussels and I would imagine that some finely shredded lemon zest would make a great garnish all by itself. The last time I did an appetizer like this, I actually used some commercial Caesar salad dressing as a base (not having any cheese or dip) and found it very nice indeed.

Anyway, as I say, there’s not much of a recipe for you here today, but perhaps you might find this an interesting ‘small-plate’ theme to play around with…


12 thoughts on “Smoked Mussel Appetizers with Cream Cheese

  1. I’ve had a smoked oyster once and wasn’t thrilled about the texture — mind you this was in a fancy restaurant and not from a can. (Never seen them canned actually.) I’d like to try hot-smoking mussels, but am worried they will become tough.

    1. I’ve been eating them since a kid so I am used to the texture but I can see how they might not appeal for the first time. Somewhere in my cookery book collection I have recipes for smoking them but I’ve never tried… I wonder if a combination of sous-vide and cold-smoking might work?

      1. That should work, although I suppose just steaming/boiling them until they open up and then cold smoking should do the trick as well. Now I just need a cold smoker 😉

  2. I always forget that you can squirrel away cans of mussels and oysters. Living by the sea, I buy shellfish on the day I plan on eating it, so there is never much spontaneity involved. I first tried a smoked oyster after my mother and sister got hooked on them. They are so different in flavour and texture to fresh. I have only ever had them “neat” but cream cheese and lemon sound like great accompanying flavours. Have you ever cooked with them?

    1. I’ve had them served to me on Pizza (not great) and I did try cooking them in something once. I can’t for the life of me remember anything about it other than it wasn’t a success. I love them cold though 🙂

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