Monday, October 12, 2009

Smoked Salmon Crisps

I didn't blog about our May trip to the Mecca for foodies...Thomas Keller's The French Laundry in Yountville, Napa Valley, California.

Two reasons: a) I didn't want to gloat. (And I would was the most amazing, albeit most expensive, meal I'd ever had. And b) I really don't think my pedantic prose could have done justice to the sublime experiences that were on my plate that night.

But I was excited when a recent issue of Food & Wine included a recipe for the amuse bouche that was the first course we had. Salty salmon with the bracing tang of lemon zest. Topped with rich crème fraîche and tucked into a buttery sweet tuile cone. I never knew one bite could mean so much.

This version is simplified. No need to be fussy and shape the cones. These flat versions are just as delicious. (And so delicious that I almost ate them all before the salmon topping ever got involved.)

Smoked Salmon Crisps
Makes 3 dozen crisps. (Or at least it's supposed to...I didn't quite get that many out of the recipe.)

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
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
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
1/2 cup crème fraîche

Preheat the oven to 400°. 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.

Spoon teaspoons of the batter 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and spread to 2-inch rounds. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake in the upper and middle third of the oven for about 15 minutes, shifting the pans from top to bottom and front to back, until the tuiles are golden and fragrant. Let cool completely.

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 of crème fraîche and a couple of snipped chives. Serve right away.

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