Caper-herb corn muffins with smoked salmon – a flavorful appetizer for your fancy gathering. Easy to make but makes quite an impression.

 

Party season calls for delicious eats, fun outfits and good convos. I’m not the best conversationalist, but I’m an excellent listener. Sometimes I can hit the mark with an outfit, but typically I’m not the best dressed at the party. I do, however, know how to get the appetizers taken care of.

Adding little nibbles around the party makes it so much more special. And you have to choose wisely. Appetizers should be one or two bites and packed with flavor. Since no one is eating an entire plate or serving of the nibbles, you want them to make an impression in one or two bites!

 

Caper Herb Corn Muffins with Smoked Salmon and creme fraiche

I took that into consideration when I created this recipe for caper and herb corn muffins. Then went the extra mile and topped them with flavorful smoked salmon and a dollop of cream. All the tastes and all the fancy you need in two nibbles.

Caper-herb corn muffins with smoked salmon pack savory flavor into two little bites. The perfect appetizer.

If you don’t have a mini muffin tin for these, get one here. I didn’t use muffin papers here because I wanted the apps to be picked up and eaten with no paper left over and no need for a two-hand attack.

Caper Herb Corn Muffins with Smoked Salmon and creme fraiche

Be sure to get capers in brine when you buy them. Capers packed in salt can certainly be rinsed, but they really do add a lot of salt to the recipe, and it may be a tad too much here. The brine is drained off before chopping the capers, but adds a nice tang to the muffins.

You can also make the muffins a day ahead and top them just before the party. Easy planning for the party!

Caper-Herb Corn Muffins With Smoked Salmon

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: Makes 30

Calories per serving: 65

Fat per serving: 3 g

Caper-Herb Corn Muffins With Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill leaf, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp capers in brine, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz smoked salmon (lox style)
  • ½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease mini muffin tins. Mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a bowl, whisk egg, milk and butter together, then add zest, dill and capers. Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix until just combined (don't overmix).
  2. Fill each mini muffin cup with a generous tablespoon of batter. Bake 18 to 20 min, until muffins spring back when touched. Cool in tins 5 min. Run a knife around edge of each muffin to remove from tins, then cool completely.
  3. Cut the very top off of each muffin to create a flat surface. Top with a bit of salmon and a dollop of crème fraîche. Garnish with a dill sprig.

Notes

Save time on party day by making the muffins up to a day in advance; store airtight until ready to serve.

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Throwing a party? If you are, you probably need nibbles and appetizers. Add these to your menu!

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Recipe by Tara Bench
Photographs Alexandra Rowley
Food Stylist Simon Andrews
Prop Stylist Gerri Williams
Originally published Ladies’ Home Journal Dec09/Jan10

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