Almost any flavorful cheese works in these light-as-air bites. Try Cheddar in place of the Gruyère, and stir in 3 slices chopped cooked bacon or prosciutto. Or substitute 1⁄4 cup crumbled blue cheese, and add 1⁄4 cup finely chopped pecans.
Taramasalata is a creamy Greek dip featuring carp roe, or tarama. A popular brand of roe, Krinos Tarama ($7), is available nationwide at specialty foods stores or at amazon.com. Get creative: Use golden whitefish roe ($12 for 2 ounces), available at californiacaviar.com. Save black roe for other uses; it will turn this dip an unappetizing gray color.