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Salmon rollups equal savory entertaining

Salmon tortilla rollups are an easily made appetizer that would be a savory addition to party menus, whether picnics, tailgating spreads, neighborhood potlucks or any other of the festive occasions ahead of us.

The recipe comes from Kathy Cary, the celebrated chef and owner of Lilly's restaurant and La Peche Catering in Louisville, Ky.

"Feeding a crowd doesn't need to take a lot of time," Cary says. "These appetizers are simple to make, but they taste and look like you've spent all day in the kitchen preparing them.

"The key to this recipe is starting out with flavorful salmon. I always use real butter in sauteing because it adds richness while sealing in the food's natural flavors and juices. The zesty peppered cheese, chipotle and avocado give the dish a Southwest, tangy kick."

Salmon Tortilla Rollups

10 ounces salmon fillet, skinless (see note)

1 medium white onion, sliced into \-inch slices

4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter

{ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon diced chipotle in adobe sauce (available in small cans), or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped jalapeno

Four 12-inch flour tortillas

4 leaves romaine lettuce, shredded

1 chopped tomato

1 whole avocado, diced and tossed in lime juice

Preparation time: 25 minutes. Cooking time: 8 minutes.

In a medium skillet, saute the salmon and sliced onion in butter for 4 minutes. Set aside to cool. Mix cream cheese and diced chipotle or jalapeno. Spread the mixture evenly on tortillas and top evenly with cooked onion, lettuce, tomato and avocado.

Slice the salmon lengthwise into 8 6-inch slices. Place 2 salmon strips slightly off-center on each tortilla and roll tightly.

Heat grill to medium heat; place rolls on grill and cook, turning to mark each side, about 2 minutes per side. Slice each tortilla rollup into 8 sections.

Note: You may substitute 10 ounces of chicken for the salmon. Saute the chicken in butter for 10 minutes.

Makes 32 minirolls.

Nutrition information per 1-roll serving: 100 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated), 15mg cholesterol, 100mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, less than 1g dietary fiber, 4g protein.