Smoked Salmon with buckwheat blinis

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You will need:

  • 40g buckwheat flour
  • 125g stong white plain flour
  •  3/4 level tsp salt
  • 5g easy blend dried yeast
  • 150ml creme fraiche
  • 175ml whole milk
  • 2 medium eggs separated
  • 25g butter

For the topping

  • 225g creme fraiche
  • a few dill sprigs

Method:

Begin by sifting the buckwheat flour, plain flour and salt together into a large roomy bowl and then sprinkle in the yeast. Place the crème fraîche and milk in a small saucepan and warm it gently – it must only be slightly warm, as too much heat will kill the yeast. Next add the egg yolks to the milk, mix them in with a whisk and after that pour the whole lot into the flour mixture.

Whisk everything until you have a thick batter, then cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave it in a warm place for about 1 hour – this can simply be a matter of placing the bowl in another larger bowl filled with warm water. After 1 hour the batter will be spongy and bubbly, now you whisk up the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and gently fold them into the batter. Cover with the cloth again and leave as before for another hour.

When you’re ready to make the blinis, begin by melting the butter in a heavy-based frying pan, then tip the melted butter out into a cup and use it with the help of a tightly rolled wodge of kitchen paper to brush the pan all over as you make each blini. To do this, keep the pan on a medium heat and add 1½ tablespoons of batter – (1 tablespoon goes in first, then another ½ tablespoon on top) – it won’t spread out much and the underneath sets as soon as it touches the pan. This amount should give you a blini about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Don’t worry at this stage if it looks too thick, it isn’t, it’s just light and puffy. After 40 seconds, no longer, flip the blini over and give it just 30 seconds on the other side. Transfer it to a wire cooling-rack and repeat, brushing the pan with butter each time. This mixture should give you 18-20 blinis.

When all the blinis are made and have cooled, wrap them in foil parcels, with 6 laid out flat in each one. To serve, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C) and place the foil parcels on a high shelf for 10 minutes. Serve the blinis on warm plates, giving each person 2 to start with, and top with slices of smoked salmon, about 2 oz (50 g) per person, add a tablespoon of very cold crème fraîche on the side of the plate and garnish with sprigs of fresh dill.

Serves 6

Makes 18 to 20 blinis

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Smoked Salmon Mousse with pickled cucumber and prawn tempura

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You will need:

For the pickled cucmber

  • 1 cucmber, peeled, cut in half lengthways & seeds scooped out.
  • 1-2 tbsp of salt
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 60ml white wine vinegar
  • 6 corriander seeds
  • 6 whole black peppercorns

For the fish stock

  • 1kg white fish bones, rinsed
  • 1 onion peeled & chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb sliced
  • 4 parsley stalks
  • 1 garlic bulb cut in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 375ml of dry vermouth
  • 750ml dry white wine
  • 1 gelatine leaf soaked in cold water

For the smoked salmon mousse

  • vegetableoil for greasing
  • 250g smoked salmon slices (eachslice cut in to 7.5cm disc using a chefs ring)
  • 250ml fresh fish stock (see above)
  • 150ml double cream, whipped until soft peaks form
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lemon juice only
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the dressing

  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon juice only
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the prawn tempura

  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g cornflour
  • 300ml sparkling water
  • 4 tiger king prawns, peeled & de-veined (tails left on)

To serve

  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 4 handfuls of mixed salad leaves

 

Method:

  • For the pickled cucumber, place the cucumber halves into a large dish and sprinkle over the salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then rinse with cold water and drain well. Chop the cucumber into thin half-moon slices and place into a clean dish.
  • Mix together the sugar, white wine vinegar, coriander seeds and black peppercorns until well combined. Pour the mixture over the cucumber and set aside for 2-3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, for the fish stock, place the fish bones, onion, fennel, parsley stalks, garlic and bay leaf into a large pan. Pour over the dry vermouth and white wine and then add enough cold water to completely cover the fish bones.
  • Bring the fish stock mixture to a simmer over a high heat. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, then skim off any foam that has collected on the surface of the liquid with a skimmer or slotted spoon. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming as necessary.
  • Strain the stock through a sieve and discard the fish bones and vegetables (reserve the strained liquid).
  • Stir the gelatine leaf into the warm fish stock until dissolved.
  • For the smoked salmon mousse, grease a baking tray with oil and lay the salmon discs onto it. Grease the inside of four 7.5cm/3in chefs’ rings with vegetable oil.
  • Blend the remaining smoked salmon trimmings in a food processor until smooth, then push through a sieve, reserving the salmon purée.
  • Fold the salmon purée into the whipped cream until well combined. Add the warm fish stock and gelatine mixture and mix until well combined. Add the cayenne pepper and lemon juice, then season, to taste, with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Place the greased chefs’ rings over four of the salmon discs (reserve the remaining smoked salmon discs). Spoon the salmon mousse mixture into the chefs’ rings on top of the salmon discs so that the salmon disc forms a base. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a bowl, mix together all of the dressing ingredients until well combined.
  • For the prawn tempura, heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180C. Alternatively, heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and cornflour. Gradually whisk in the sparkling water until the batter mixture is smooth and has the consistency of double cream.
  • Dip the king prawns into the batter, then carefully lower the coated prawns into the hot oil. Fry the prawns for 1-2 minutes, or until the batter is crisp and golden-brown and the prawns are pink. Remove from the hot oil using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
  • To serve, place one salmon mousse into the centre of each of four serving plates. Carefully remove the chefs’ rings. Top each with one of the remaining discs of smoked salmon, then place one tempura prawn on top of each. Wrap the pickled cucumber around the salmon mousse. Sprinkle over the dill. Serve a handful of mixed salad leaves in each of four separate serving bowls and drizzle over the dressing.

Serves 4

over 2 hours preparation time

10 to 30 minutes cooking time

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Smoked Salmon Pasta.

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You will need:

  • 225g spaghetti (or other) pasta
  • Salt
  • 57g cup pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 76g cup chopped shallots (can substitute onions)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 80ml cup dry white wine (can substitute pasta cooking water with a Tbsp of lemon juice)
  • 60ml cup cream
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (divided into 1 Tbsp and 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or dill
  • 150g smoked salmon, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Method:

1 Heat to boiling a large pot with at least 4 quarters of water in it. While the water is heating, brown the pine nuts. Put the pine nuts in a single layer in a large skillet. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside.

2 Once the water is boiling, salt it with 1 Tbsp of salt for every 4 quarters of water. Once the water returns to a boil add the pasta to the pot. Leave uncovered, on high heat and let cook with a vigorous boil. Put the timer on for 8-10 minutes, or whatever your pasta package says is appropriate for al dente (cooked but still a little firm).

3 While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, cook for 2 minutes, then add white wine, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp of lemon zest. Increase the heat and let boil down by half. If you want a slightly creamy sauce, add the cream and let boil a minute more.

The sauce should be done about the same time the pasta is done. If you get done earlier with it than the pasta, take it off the heat.

4 Once the pasta is done, and before draining the pasta, scoop out one cup of the pasta cooking liquid and reserve. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the sauce. Add back some of the pasta cooking liquid to the pasta if it is a little dry. Add the smoked salmon, toasted pine nuts, parsley, and the remaining lemon zest. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 2 to 3.

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Smoked salmon rolls.

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You will need:

• 2 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic
• 120g plain flour
• 180ml milk
• 8 tablespoons olive oil
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
butter
• 150ml crème fraîche
• a small bunch of fresh chives
200g smoked salmon
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Method:

Crack the eggs in a mixing bowl, then add the flour to the bowl so it sits in a pile to one side of the eggs. Gently start mixing the eggs with a whisk, then gradually whisk the flour in, little by little, until it’s all incorporated. If it gets a bit thick, add some of the milk to loosen it up. Once all the flour is mixed in, add the rest of the milk, 2 tablespoons of oil and a good pinch of salt. Leave for at least an hour before using.

Heat a small large non-stick frying pan and melt a knob of butter in it. Pour in a ladleful of batter, swirl the pan around, then pour any loose batter back into the bowl it came from. You should be left with a thin pancake stuck to the pan. Let it cook for a minute or so, flip it over for 30 seconds and then slide it out on to a plate. Repeat until all your batter is used. (It should make about five, so you could use the remainder for breakfast). Let the pancakes cool.

Make a rectangle of double thickness cling film about 40cm x 15cm and lay two pancakes on it side by side, slightly overlapping. Spread them with a thin layer of crème fraîche, lay most of the chives on top, season well with pepper and place a layer of smoked salmon over the top. Use the cling film on one of the long sides of the rectangle to roll the pancakes up tightly like a Swiss roll. Re-wrap in cling film and leave for at least half an hour in the fridge to firm up before slicing into inch lengths and serving with a dip made from the rest of the oil, the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining chives before serving.

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Smoked salmon & rye bread bites.

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You will need:

  • 24 slices cocktail rye bread
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brewed black tea or vodka
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces (250 grams) sliced smoked salmon, finely chopped (1 1/3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Coat a baking tray with cooking spray. Arrange the slices of rye bread in a single layer on the baking tray.
Spray the tops of the slices lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 12–15 minutes or just until the slices are crisp.

2. Whisk the lemon juice, tea (or vodka), oil, mustard and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the smoked salmon, red onion, dill and capers. Toss to mix well.
3. Shortly before serving, mound about 1 tablespoon of the smoked salmon
topping on each slice of toast. Garnish each with a dill sprig.

One serving is two canapés.

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Smoked salmon & horseradish toasts.

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You will need:

  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Creamed Horseradish
  • 1/2 small tub of Creme fraiche
  • Small pinch of both Sea salt & Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Ciabatta Loaf cut into 1cm thick slices
  • 300g Smoked Salmon Slices
  • 1/2 Punnet of cress
Smoked Salmon Canape

Canapaes

Add ½ a teaspoon of creamed horseradish to ½ a small tub of crème fraîche. Sprinkle in a small pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemonjuice then mix well. Taste to check its hot enough. Cut a loaf of

into 1cm thick slices, toast or griddle them then drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil. Top with waves of smoked salmon, Add a dollop of horseradish crème fraîche to each toast then snip over ½ a punnet of cress. Finish with a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a little squeeze of lemon juice.

Serves: 4-6

This recipe is easy to scale up so adapt it for however many people you’ve got coming round.

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