On the various occasions that I contribute edibles and potables to potlucks, parties and other various affairs, my cardinal rule has been to keep it simple. Because really, who wants to spend the entire event slaving away in the kitchen instead of actually entertaining?
And with its super-easy prep work and assembly (so much that I even hesitate to call this a recipe, per post title,) it's one crowd-pleasing party snack that's definitely in my regular rotation, and hopefully yours too.
Ingredients for 50-60 rounds:
3 Japanese cucumbers (Persian or English ones work too, but I prefer the Japanese's milder flavor and softer crunch)
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 1/2 tablespoon white miso paste
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
1 4-6 oz. package smoked salmon (I got Trader Joe's Pacific wild-caught, tasty and inexpensive at $3.99 per package)
1. Soften cream cheese by beating it in a bowl; after softening, incorporate miso paste one teaspoon at a time -- tasting along the way to your preference (it should have a pronounced miso-umami flavor without being too salty) - this can be done the night before.
2. Slice up the Japanese cucumbers into coins, gently press them dry on both sides with a paper towel.
3. In a bowl, dilute the white wine vinegar to 1 cup of water. Stir in the brown sugar until mixed, then soak the cucumber coins in for 15-20 minutes. Then strain into colander and let it dry - again, doable night before.
4. Assemble! Top each cucumber coin with a half-teaspoonful of the miso cream cheese, a pinch of sesame seeds and a thumb-sized piece of the smoked salmon. Ready to serve immediately or keep chilled in fridge for a few hours.
Thanks to Kung Food Panda for the photo & helping me assemble the rounds at the party. And I Nom Things for the inspiration in this dish's name.