Alder Smoked Salmon Spread with Jalapeno Cream Cheese

Alder smoke gives salmon a delicious mellow flavor. When combined with jalapeno, chili powder, cilantro and cream cheese, the result is a spicy but smooth taste sensation. Enjoy it as an appetizer, tapas or as a delicious sandwich.

Ingredients:

4 alder wood chunks (use hickory as substitute)
1 bottle (750 ml) fruity sweet wine (Johannesburg Riesling or white Zinfandel)
2 8-oz skinless salmon fillets
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 pickled jalapeno peppers, minced with seeds and stems removed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons pure chili powder
Salt to taste

Place wood chunks on charcoal or lava rocks, and pour wine into water pan. Place salmon in smoker basket and set on lower level grill. Smoke cook for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour (electric/gas smoker) or 1 to 1 ½ hours (charcoal smoker).

Remove salmon from smoker and place in mixing bowl. Mash smoked salmon into tiny flakes by using the back side of a fork or spoon. Add cream cheese, jalapeno, cilantro, lemon juice and chili powder. Blend well into smooth mixture. Add salt to taste and blend again.

Cover mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve on toasted French bread or crackers as an appetizer or in a sandwich with lettuce and tomato.

Serves 6