- 2 pkg. cream cheese, softened (3 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 2 cups cooked baby shrimp (a.k.a. "bay shrimp" or "fancy shrimp") plus 1 cup shrimp for garnish
- 2 bunches fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup sweet red or green pepper, finely chopped
- 2 avocadoes
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound smoked salmon
- 1 Tbsp. roughly chopped capers
- 16 slices sandwich-style French or white bread (the bread needs to be fairly firm, with some texture to it.)
- Cucumber slices, lemon slices, halved cherry tomatoes, endive, chopped dill, capers, and caviar paste for additional gar
The day before serving (if possible, since this intensifies the flavors):
To make your basic smörgåstårta spread: Whip together the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream until light and creamy.
For the baby shrimp spread: Mix together 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture, 2 cups cooked baby shrimp, 1 Tbsp. chopped dill, and chopped sweet pepper.
For the avocado spread: Peel and lightly mash two avocadoes into a chunky spread. Combine with 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1/4 cup red onion, and 1 Tbsp. chopped dill.
For the smoked salmon spread: Remove smoked salmon from skin (if present) and dice into small pieces. Fold into 1 cup cream cheese mixture; mix in 1 Tbsp. roughly chopped capers.
To construct the smörgåstårta:
Slice the crusts off of the bread. Arrange four slices in a square pattern on a serving plate; thinly butter this bottom layer. Cover completely with the shrimp spread. Thinly butter the bottoms of four more bread slices, then place on top of the shrimp layer. Thinly butter the tops of the slices. Cover completely with the chunky avocado spread. Thinly butter the bottoms of four more bread slices, then place on top of the avocado spread. Thinly butter the tops of the slices. Cover completely with the smoked salmon spread. Thinly butter the bottoms of the final four slices and place on top of the smoked salmon layer. Refrigerate remaining cream cheese spread.
If possible, cover the smörgåstårta with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. If not possible, refrigerate for at least three hours to allow the flavors to blend (it will still taste fabulous!).
One hour before serving, frost the top and sides of the smörgåstårta with the remaining cream cheese spread. Then, use your creativity to decorate with 1 cup cooked baby shrimp (pile it high for effect!), cucumber slices, lemon slices, halved cherry tomatoes, endive, chopped dill, capers, and caviar paste
Yield: serves 30 smörgåstårta slices as part of a smorgasbord table.