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Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Hollywood culinary icon inspires playful canapes

  • Smoked salmon stars are smeared with dill cream and topped with smoked salmon and a garnish of caviar.

    Associated Press

    Smoked salmon stars are smeared with dill cream and topped with smoked salmon and a garnish of caviar.

Having an Oscar party? Trying to decide what should be on the menu? Here's a simple but spectacular appetizer.
People often pay homage to Oscar nominated movies with thematic food inspired by the hits. But I prefer to pay homage to Wolfgang Puck, who for years has been the official caterer for the Governor's Ball post-Oscar bash.
One of my favorite riffs on Puck's California culinary style is to take the idea of the classic smoked salmon canape and make it playful. All it takes is a little imagination and a sturdy cookie cutter to make these smoked salmon stars.
This is an Oscar-worthy treat that is appropriate regardless of your favorite movie or actor.
Have one of your guests bring a bottle of Domaine Carneros rose sparkling wine to serve with these festive appetizers. They work so well together.
Smoked salmon stars
6 slices pumpernickel bread or "Texas Toast"
1 5.2-ounce package Boursin garlic and herb cheese, at room temperature
1 4-ounce package thinly sliced smoked salmon
Zest of 1 lemon (cut into strips)
Black caviar, optional

Toast the bread, then let it cool to room temperature by placing on a rack or leaving in the toaster. If you put the hot toast on a plate, it will steam underneath and become soggy.
Spread 2 to 3 teaspoons of Boursin cheese over each piece of toast. Top with salmon, trimming to fit, if necessary.
Use a star cookie cutter to cut each slice into as many stars as possible.
Garnish with lemon peel strips. Place caviar in the center of the star.
Arrange on platter and serve.
Makes 12 stars.

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