Welcome 2012! Smoked Salmon Crisps with Lemon Wasabi Cream Cheese and My Top 5 Recipes of 2011December 31, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Posted in Amuse Bouche, Appetizers, Asian, Cookies, Holiday, Hors d'oeuvres, Seafood, Vegetables | 54 Comments
Tags: Black Sesame seeds, Chives, cream cheese, Hors d'oeuvres, Lemon, Lox, New Years Brunch, New Years Eve, Shallots, Smoked Salmon, Thomas Keller, Tuiles, Wasabi
This post was scheduled to go up at midnight. But I scheduled it a few hours earlier, so in retrospect, this is Lisa of New Years past speaking. Let me explain…
The reason I initially scheduled this for midnight was because I was invited by Lora of Cake Duchess and Sanjeeta of Lite Bite to take part in a Virtual Party Bloghop to welcome in 2012 , and that’s when they asked us to put it up, at or after midnight.
I kind of cheated and scheduled this post for 9:30 pm because these smoked salmon crisps are so amazing and so amazingly easy to whip up that there’s still a ton of time to make it for a New Years brunch, plus, on the East and West Coasts, you would have plenty of time to whip it up tonight if you’ve got some smoked salmon on hand! My other reasoning is, it’s already 2012 in other parts of the world, like Europe, for instance. My family hails from Russia…so let’s pretend I’ve already celebrated with champagne, blini and vodka. I’m three sheets to the wind..ready for sleep. Boy it’s cold here! S Novym Godom!
That said, there’s a bunch of great food bloggers taking part, so once all posts are up, (this party is on until January 7th), just clicking the linky at the bottom of this post will take you to a gallery of gorgeous dishes to celebrate the New Year. The Twitter hashtag is #Welcome2012. Join us all week long!
Logo created by Heather of Farmgirl Gourmet
Like my Christmas Morning Coffee Cake, these can be anytime hors d’oeuvres, or appetizers. One would make a great amuse bouche, so I’m thinking this suits all three categories. I think I need to create an hors d’oeuvres category.
The recipe is by Thomas Keller, from his French Laundry cookbook. You do not have to smoke your own salmon to make this. I don’t own a smoker (gave it away years ago because I hardly ever used it – but now wish I didn’t) so I did the next best thing – I bought my smoked salmon from a Jewish deli that smokes their own salmon. There you go! There are also great packaged Novia Scotia salmon brands in the supermarkets, so you also don’t need a great Jewish deli nearby to make these.
Thomas Keller is brilliant – a culinary virtuoso, so I really didn’t think I was going to change a bit of this recipe. Then the thought came to me – smoked salmon, LOX, LOX and cream cheese on a bagel. Bagels with cream cheese and lox has been a food staple since childhood.
I now dub these bagels with cream cheese, lox and onions, REFINED. Oh, with a lot less calories too, if you don’t eat 3 dozen of them. Speaking of bagels, do any of you order your bagels ‘scooped’? This is where they tear out the doughy innards before filling it with whatever you choose, to cut carbs and calories. I’m sorry, I will try to eat as healthy as I can, but no way in hell am I ever giving up those doughy innards when I treat myself to a bagel with cream cheese, lox, onions, capers, or whatever I’m craving that day. It’s sort of sacrilege to me…it’s the best part!
I totally digress. Creme fraiche is a lovely, tangy topping, and easy to make, but to welcome in 2012, the New Yorker in me felt these called for cream cheese – so I used cream cheese. When I tasted my cream cheese topping, it needed a little kick. Wasabi goes extremely well with salmon. I loved it, but you don’t have to use it – it’s fine without it.
One small caveat (another favorite and oft used word of mine) – the baking time for the tuiles in Chef Keller’s recipe was too much. My first batch burned. Maybe this is because I baked only one sheet at a time, so if you’re going to do the same, 15 minutes is way too long. 8-10 minutes is perfect, but start checking at 6 minutes.
One last thing before I get to my top posts of 2011. As part of this virtual New Years party, we were given a list of things to do. One was optional, asking us to name and link to bloggers who inspired us in 2011. People who know me in real life would say one thing. “Nope, she never picks out people and leaves others out, so she won’t do that”. Yes, that’s the truth..I’m the type of person who will drive my kids crazy by making them invite everyone in the class to their birthday parties when they’re in elementary school, and I still have enough reign/authority to do so.
BUT, to be honest, this is not even a case of leaving people out. The truth is, every single food blogger I know or don’t know..but read, inspires me in some way, shape or form. There’s no way I can just choose 5 or 100, it just isn’t possible (Plese don’t misunderstand, there is NOTHING wrong with choosing favorites, whether it be people, places or things – it’s just how I operate), so I’ll leave it at ‘YOU ALL inspire and affect me in so many different ways’.
I’m quite the softie, a blob of silly putty. I can’t ignore, exclude or hurt people. Someone has to do something pretty mean or awful to me for none of the above to apply. Being too nice is not always a good thing in life, and some take advantage, but hey, maybe it’ll serve me well somewhere down the road. Now back to our scheduled programming – minus the cheese and corn.
Herein lies my top posts of 2011. I decided to forgo the usual top 10, 11 for 2011, or 12 for 2012. Instead, 2+0+1+1 = 4, and I prefer odd numbers, so here are my TOP 5 posts of 2011.
1. My Much Discussed Levain Copycat Cookie - This was my first post ever, and it still gets the most hits every year.
2. Possibly the Best Burger Buns Ever - And they are still possibly the best burger buns ever.
3. Biscuit Joconde Imprime/Entremet – Peanut Butter and Chocolate all Decked Out - I loved this so much, I’ve made it twice since. Best Lowel Ego Light photo ever (for me). Could never replicate the lighting and sharpness of this photo again – weird Lowel Ego juju moment.
4. Three Pies in One – Cheesecake Pumpkin Pecan Pie - Need I say more?
5. Candy, Candy, Candy I Can’t Let You Go – Almost everything candy, from tempering chocolate to pate de fruits.
Well..that’s all folks! Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!! See you in 2012! Don’t forget to click the linky below!
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Smoked Salmon Crisps with Lemon Wasabi Cream Cheese
Recipe for Tuiles and Salmon from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook. Lemon Wasabi Cream Cheese Topping by Yours Truly.
Makes about 2 to 3 dozen
4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 chilled large egg white
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Black sesame seeds
Smoked Salmon Topping
4 ounces sliced smoked salmon, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons very finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons very finely chopped chives, plus a few snipped, for garnish
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Freshly ground white pepper
Lemon Wasabi Cream Cheese Topping
4 ounces (half a package) cream cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
pinch of white pepper
pinch of salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon wasabi powder or paste (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the egg white and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter until smooth and creamy.
2. Spoon about a teaspoon of the batter, each 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and spread to 2-inch rounds. I make my own tuile batter stencils so I get uniform shapes. To do that, take a plastic cover from an empty tub of margarine, rice pudding, or whatever you have on hand, cut off the thick rim, then draw your shape onto the side you won’t be spreading batter on. Poke a hole in the middle with a knife, then cut out your shape following the outline. You can see mine in the collage above.
3. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake in the upper and middle third of the oven for about 8-10 minutes, shifting the pans from top to bottom and front to back, until the tuiles are golden and fragrant. Let cool.
4. While tuiles are cooling, make the lemon wasabi cream cheese topping. In a medium bowl combine the softened cream cheese, salt, wasabi powder (if using), white pepper and heavy cream. Beat until smooth and fluffy Stir in the lemon zest and place into a piping bag with the tip of your choice, or a ziplock bag with one end snipped off. You can just spoon it on each salmon crisp if you prefer. Set aside.
5. Make the smoked salmon topping. In a medium bowl, combine the salmon with the shallot, chopped chives, lemon zest and a pinch of white pepper. Spoon the salmon onto the tuiles and top with a dollop or piping of the lemon wasabi cream cheese. Garnish each crisp with a few snipped chives. Make Ahead – The tuiles can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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