So, on Christmas morning we had brunch over at my brother's house. We were supposed to bring "our favorite snack." I had sprung for a package of honey-smoked salmon at Costco since I knew I'd want something nice for an appetizer along the way during the holidays. I stood there pondering, since it costs $14.00 a pound. But I thought, hey, it's Christmas!
Here's the thing, though: By the time I put it into these rollups with all the other ingredients, the exact flavor didn't really matter. They were good, but I got to thinking that probably canned salmon,
I got the original recipe from a cookbook that I've referenced many times: Beat That! by Ann Hodgman. ( I am appalled to see that only used ones are available; buy your copy now!) She says, "Whenever I serve these spirals, people bolt them down without even chewing, like seals catching fish." Hmmm.
Anyway, here's my version. She has you use the real thing for the salmon, spreading the tortillas with all of the other ingredients and then layering the thinly-sliced fish on top. But if you're using canned or cooked stuff, then it's much easier to just flake it and mix it into the other stuff.
Salmon Tortilla Spirals
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, if you want the other ingredients to shine, or 2 packages if you're trying to stretch things out and/or want a milder flavor.
1 15-oz. can salmon, drained and flaked, with skin and bones removed
1 tsp., or to taste, of lemon-pepper seasoning--I have a huge canister of this, of course from Costco.
1 tsp. grated lemon zest or 1/8 tsp. lemon oil, optional
1-2 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1-2 teaspoons dried
2 tablespoons small capers, drained (I wimped out and didn't buy these for the ones I made, but they're very important. Later I found some on sale, so I have some on hand for the next ones. Costco doesn't seem to carry them, alas. Capers are like little tiny pickles, but I don't think you could use chopped pickles--they wouldn't be the same at all. Regular grocery stores have small jars of them for ridiculous prices.)
8-12 flour tortillas, depending on how much cream cheese you used and how thickly you want to spread it--a nice touch would be flavored ones, such as spinach or tomato. I haven't tried this yet, but I ran across the suggestion when I was looking up recipes. They probably don't taste all that different from the regular ones, but they'll look pretty.
1 tsp. smoked paprika (optional. I think it would add a nice flavor note, but then your cream cheese is going to be pink and the salmon is going to blend in more, color-wise. I never use regular paprika, but the smoked stuff is really great.)
2-3 finely-minced green onion, using the green tops as far up as possible, until they start getting all withered, or an equivalent amount of finely-chopped red onion or shallots.
Just mix everything up, lay out your tortillas on the counter, spread the mixture on them, roll them up, and slice into 1/2-inch rounds. You can make them well ahead of time, arrange them on a platter and wrap well with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you need them.
There are several other versions, including ones with chives, or spinach, or (strangely, at least to me) with salsa and Mexican spices such as cumin. I just don't think that adds up to anything very good, but it's surprisingly popular. One variant that does make a lot of sense is to use herbed cream cheese. You could do that if you're really flying fast and low, and then you wouldn't need to bother with anything else but the salmon.