Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Salmon Pinwheels ~ A Lovely Holiday Appetizer

Last weekend, we had a gathering of our gourmet group at the home of very good friends. It's always a delightful time since our group has been together for over 20 years and we are all close friends. Good food, good wine and most of all, good company!

The group consists of 5 couples and each couple takes a turn hosting and planning one dinner during the course of a year. The host couple is in charge of the entree and perhaps one side dish and they assign a recipe to each couple to bring or make and assemble at the host couples' home. We all love to cook, research and try new recipes. Some of the husbands really get into the cooking aspect too, and others, like my husband, enjoy researching the wine.

For this holiday-themed gourmet, my husband and I (translate =  me) were assigned a recipe for Smoked Salmon Pinwheels for the first course. I know there are many smoked salmon pinwheel recipes out there but, what impressed me most about this recipe, was the delicious homemade crepes that held the pinwheels together. I could have eaten them as a meal on their own, they were so good!

The 'bonus factor' with this recipe is the batter can be made two days ahead...the crepes made and refrigerated a day ahead, and the pinwheels assembled the morning of the party. I love recipes that have do-ahead features! Sam's Club carries some wonderful smoked salmon that is reasonably priced.

The pinwheels 'logs' are wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated. Then, they are cut into bite-sized pieces and topped with dill weed and salmon roe (optional).

Whether you celebrate the holidays with friends, family, pets or your own sweet self, this is not a difficult recipe if you do it in stages as I did.

Unfortunately, the source of the original recipe is unknown so I cannot give attribution.

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels

Source Unknown
Printable Recipe

Serves 10

Crepe Batter:

1 large egg
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) whole milk
½ cup (2-1/2 oz/85 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 green onions, including tender green tops, finely chopped

Melted unsalted butter for cooking

4 oz (125 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz (125 g) thinly sliced smoked salmon or gravlax


¼ cup (2 oz/60g) salmon roe
24 small fresh drill sprigs

To make the batter, combine the egg, milk, flour, butter, and a pinch of salt in a blender and process until smooth – about 30 seconds. Transfer the batter to a bowl and stir in the green onions. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight.

Remove the batter from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature before cooking – about 30 minutes. Stir the batter gently to redistribute the green onions.

Preheat a nonstick crepe pan or frying pan over medium heat. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the pan with melted butter. Lift the pan from the heat and hold it at a slight angle. Pour ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) of the batter into the pan and tip an swirl the pan to cover the pan evenly. Cook until the batter is almost dry and the edges have started to brown, about 1 minute. Using a wooden or silicone spatula, flip the crepe and cook until slightly browned on the second side and cooked, about 30 seconds longer. (I used my fingers to flip them over). Repeat with the remaining batter to create 4 large crepes. Let cool to room temperature. The cooked crepes can be stacked with waxed paper separating them, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Lay the 4 crepes on a work surface. Spread one=fourth of the cream cheese evenly over the surface of each crepe, leaving a ½ inch order uncovered around the entire edge. Lay one-fourth of the salmon over each cheese-topped crepe. Starting with the edge closest to you, tightly roll up each crepe into a cylinder. Wrap each crepe in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 4 hours before serving.

At serving time, remove the plastic wrap and, using a serrated knife, trim off ½ inch from each end of each rolled crepe. Slice the crepe crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Arrange the pieces, spiral side up, on a tray. Top each piece with ½ teaspoon of salmon caviar and a dill sprig. Serve at one.


  1. They look great and sound great!and I love the Cartoon effect of the wonderful dinner..Such a nice group..I envy you!

  2. Our gourmet group would love this! I would love this without doing it for the gourmet group!

    My husband loves salmon and so do I. Making this ahead and in stages is wonderful....

  3. We had a gourmet group too, and did it much the same way. The planning (amongst us ladies) was as much fun as the dinners always turned out to be. Oftentimes dancing broke out at the end of the evening! Then MaryEllen moved, then Elizabeth moved, then I moved...and alas, it is no more, I wish I could find another fine group like that one where I now live.

    Another place I have always found good smoked salmon (regular, peppered and...I can't remember the other) was at World Market, three types for $15 or so. Now they have disappeared from my area as well. Nothing stays the same.

  4. Susan, Your salmon pinwheels are little works of art. It sounds like a wonderful recipe and I too envy your gourmet group :) I love the fun photoshopping on your group shot!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  5. I really like make-ahead recipes! Salmon pinwheels sound delish.
    Did you get my message about the rolls (can't find your e-mail address)?

  6. they look delightful.

  7. I have a sister who would really love these salmon pinwheels- they are beautiful. Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. Looks so simple and much too pretty not to replicate.
    It's easy to see why every guest at the table is smiling.

    Happy Holidays Susan!

  9. Hello Susan,
    All looks delicious and you have a real talent to display your cooked meals. Nice photos.
    Thank you for stopping by my blogs.
    Have a Happy Christmas !

    Hélène from France

  10. This sounds like such a fun tradition! I need to get my friends together to do something like this.

    Those crepes sound delicious, and I love anything with smoked salmon. Thanks for the Sam's Club tip!

    Merry Christmas!

  11. Those look delicious! What a fun group you have!

    "my husband and I (that translates to me)" LOLOL!

    How did you do the effects with the group picture? Love it!

  12. Susan, your salmon pinwheels do sound delicious and your presentation is gorgeous. I, too, am envious of your gourmet group especially the longevity . What a delightful group and fun opportunity to try new things. Your group could probably put together a fabulous cookbook.

  13. Thank you thank you thank you! Just what I was looking for for NYE!

  14. Such a pretty appy, Susan. Your special effects are cool!

  15. I love cooking and baking, and all of the home...I cant wait to start trying this incredible recipes...OMG! So glad I found you!
    Happy Hollidays


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