A Quick Recovery–Cream Cheese and Lox in Cucumber Cups

by Sarah on January 20, 2011

There’s just no rest for the weary….or is it wicked?  I can never remember how that saying goes.   It doesn’t matter.  There just wasn’t time to rest for either of them last Saturday.  I had to make cupcakes.  And some other treats.  Because it was my buddy Lil’ Abner’s first birthday, and I’m not letting a little surgery get in the way of that important event.

I had this plan to make a nice smoked salmon appetizer that involved orange and some other stuff.  Well, that plan went out the window when, for one, I didn’t have an orange, and two, I got a better idea.  I decided to make a spread that reminded me of bagels and lox.  Without the bagels.

I happened to have some smoked salmon in the house.  I also happened to have cream cheese in the house.  Ditto capers, lemon, red onion and dill. First I mixed some softened cream cheese with a little softened butter.  Then mixed in some minced smoked salmon.

I chopped up the capers, some red onion and dill, and mixed that through also.  And black pepper.  Don’t forget that.  Then I plopped it all into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and cut off the tip.

For the cups, I used English cucumber, peeled, but not completely.  I like to leave those little stripes of color.  It just looks better.  Cut them into 3/4″ to 1″ rounds.

Using a melon baller, scoop out the center so you are left with a little cup.  Try not to go too far down or the salmon stuff will fall out the bottom.  No good.  If you have some time to spare, turn these upside down on a paper towel so that the cucumber will release any extra water.

Fill up the cups with the salmon mixture.  Using your finger or the tip of the plastic bag, press the salmon down so it doesn’t leave a big peak.

Next comes a little dollop of sour cream–dispersed similarly in a little plastic sandwich bag with the tip cut off.

On top of the sour cream, lay a tiny slice of red onion, then a sprig of fresh dill.

Tres elegant.  And they taste hecka good.

Abner is probably the only kid in her class that got such fancy appetizers at their first birthday party.  Also on the menu were Nana’s Chutney Chicken Salad finger sandwiches.

And Nutella and homemade strawberry jam.  These made great grilled sandwiches too.

And those cupcakes I was frosting earlier?

Some of the guests really got into them.

And the birthday girl, after some initial uncertainty, decided she liked them too.

Cream Cheese and Lox in Cucumber Cups


  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 3 oz. smoked salmon, minced
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp capers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped, plus whole dill sprigs for garnish
  • 2-3 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2-3 Tbsp minced red onion, plus a few thin, small slices for garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste


  • Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Fold in smoked salmon. Season with black pepper and lemon juice. Gently fold in the capers, onion and dill. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Place mixture into a large Ziploc bag and cut off a little bit of the tip of the bag. Set aside.
  • Roughly peel the cucumbers, leaving a little of the skin on, in stripes. Slice the cucumbers into 3/4 to 1" rounds. Using a melon baller, scoop out the centers, making a cup. Fill the cups with the salmon mixture, pressing down on the salmon so that it doesn't leave a peak.
  • Put the sour cream into another small Ziploc bag, cutting off the tip. Garnish each cucumber cup with a dollop of sour cream. Place a small 1/2 cm piece of onion on the sour cream, then a small sprig of fresh dill.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat.

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