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If you’re looking for a sophisticated but skinny appetizer to wow the judges at your Academy Awards watching party, this is it: Smoked Salmon and Skinny Dill Cream with Caviar on Oven Roasted Potato Crisps.

Inspired by Wolfgang Puck’s smoked salmon pizza–and the little Oscar shaped appetizer version he always serves at the post-awards Governor’s Ball–these skinnier nibbles are built on oven baked potato crisps rather than nutrition-empty white flour pizza or flat-bread dough.

And instead of using the one and a half cups of sour cream called for in the original recipe–which has 750 calories and 75 grams of fat–we use fat-free sour cream, which has fewer than 300 calories and, obviously, no fat.

And by making the dill cream and the chips the day before, you’ll have less to do on Oscar night and have more time to enjoy the show.

So if you’re doing an Award Winning Oscar Watching Party, try this skinny Oscar Imposter this year…

You’ll save a load of fat and calories and may win Best Skinny Hostess in the end!


Note: Smoked salmon is loaded with protein (29 grams in a 4 ounce, 140 calorie serving), and is rich in omega 3’s, A, D, E and B vitamins… but it’s also very high in sodium, which is why no salt has been added to the cream or the potato crisps.  Also, there are many varieties of smoked salmon available, in these photos I’ve used wild caught which is slightly drier than other salmon or lox. Use what you like best.

Black lumpfish caviar runs anywhere from 6 dollars to 14 dollars for a 2 oz. jar. Don’t forget, never use a metal spoon to serve it… it will oxidize the roe and give a nasty metallic taste to the caviar.

If you have a fancy mother-of-pearl caviar spoon, use that…but a plastic spoon works just as well.



Make this at least 4 hours or a day ahead to let flavors mingle.

1 1/2 c fat-free sour cream

1/4 c minced shallots

2 T fresh dill, minced

2 T fresh lemon juice (taste your lemon juice to make sure it’s sweet and not bitter.)

1/4 t white pepper

Mix together, cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.


I’ve experimented so much with these crisps… trying all sorts of temperatures and all sorts of surfaces–light and dark baking sheets, sil-pats, foil, and parchment paper–and think a plain baking sheet sprayed with oil, or one covered with parchment (also sprayed with oil), turn out the best results. The real key lies in getting the water out of the spuds.

1-2 pounds potatoes, russet, red, purple or fingerlings, washed but unpeeled, sliced 1/8 inch thick

canola oil spray

black pepper

Preheat oven to 450.

Slice spuds (I use a mandoline to save time), spread them out on paper towels and place more paper towels on top. Roll them up, squeezing gently as you go, and set aside for 20 or 30 minutes to extract as much moisture as possible.

Spray a couple of baking sheets, or baking sheets lined with parchment paper, with a thin coat of canola oil.  Add potato slices, making sure not to crowd them too much. Sprinkle with pepper and give another very light spritz of oil. (Don’t go overboard with the oil or it will burn.)

Place sheets in the oven (one near top, one near bottom), and bake 14-20 minutes.   (Actual time changes every time I make them depending on which baking sheet and potato I use, how fresh they are, and how many I’m cooking.)  Watch closely so they don’t burn. It’s perfectly fine to open the door a few times to check them and to switch the positions of the trays while cooking…it allows steam to escape which is a good thing.

When crisps have cooled, top with dill cream, smoked salmon and little bit of caviar.  Sprinkle with chives or more dill for color if you like.


Instead of russet potatoes, try using thicker slices of smaller spuds like little red potatoes, fingerlings, or the powerful purple potato… The latest research indicates potatoes, particularly the purple variety, may be good for your heart.

Or, if you want to get really skinny about it–or just make your life easier–skip the spuds altogether and serve the cream, salmon and caviar on slices of the very cool cucumber…which studies show is not only good for your joints and blood pressure, but also your skin, hair and nails!

And if you don’t like caviar, you can substitute small capers or a slice of black olive. Play around and find what you like best!


If you have leftover dill cream, try it on a skinny veggie omelet!

About Lisa McRee

After 25 years as a local and network anchor, Lisa was just another American mother struggling, and failing, to lose weight. Finally, she cracked the code, and lost 30 pounds, quickly and for good, by doing what she loves: reporting, cooking and eating! The Skinny is the inside story on how she did it, and how you can, too!
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