Fishy Goings On! Part 2 – Christmas Canapés
I was lucky enough to be given a side of salmon and a large pack of hot smoked salmon to play with from the wonderful people at the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation and Welch Fishmongers.
Salmon is so versatile, I love it. Quick and easy to cook, and with a little imagination, you can make some fun wee nibbles for the festive season.
Prior to the fish arriving, Angela from SSPO also sent me a box of goodies to muck about with. This surprise bundle included oatcakes, wasabi, nori, chocolate, chestnuts, a small bottle of fizz and other bits ‘n’ bobs.
With the Asian ingredients, this let my mind run riot and the following recipes were the inspiration I got from the box.
As with many of my recipes, measurements are on the rough side, but don’t be frightened going off piste, nothing is going to spoil or go tragically wrong.
Quail Egg Scotch Eggs
1 doz quail eggs
Tub of crowdie and same amount of ricotta
Approx 4oz hot smoked salmon
1/2 the zest of a lemon
Tblspn chopped dill or 3 large pinches of dill pollen
Salt and pepper to taste
6 small oatcakes or 3 large
Put eggs into a saucepan with about 1/4 inch of water. Once quivering (the eggs not you), cover the eggs with boiling water. Simmer for about 2 minutes and then plunge the eggs into cold water.
In the meantime, mix the soft cheeses together, flake in the salmon and stir until everything is a rough paste. If you want it smoother, keep going till you have the consistency you want.
Beat in lemon zest and dill.
Taste and then season.
Blitz the oatcakes in a food processor until you have a fine dust and tip into a bowl.
Now comes the pain in the bum bit, peeling the eggs. For a quick canapé, this takes the most time getting all the shell off the ruddy things, but it is worth it.
The next step is messy – cover the eggs with a teaspoon of the salmon/cheese mix by rolling in the palms of your hands – messy, very messy.
Finally drop them into the oatcake dust and roll around until they are covered. Do this one at a time.
Pop onto a plate and shove in the fridge to firm up. Remove 1/2 an hour before serving.
Salmon, Beetroot, Crowdie and Oatcake Morsels
Small cooked beetroot (not in vinegar)
Hot smoked salmon, flaked
Spread oatcakes with a thin layer of crowdie.
Top with a slice of beetroot and a flake of salmon or place a flake of salmon on the cheese and chop the beetroot into small cubes and dot around the salmon
Cut the lime into wedges following the line of the segments and rest on top of the salmon.
Salmon and Crowdie Baubles with Nori Dust
Hot smoked salmon
Tub of crowdie
Chilli flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Nori seaweed sheets
Wasabi paste, optional
Salmon or lumpfish roe caviar, optional
Mix salmon, crowdie, zest and chilli together until you have a paste.
Check seasoning and adjust to taste. The mix can also be used to stuff halved, deseeded cherry tomatoes.
Roll into balls the size of walnuts, pop in fridge to firm up.
This bit needs to be done swiftly – singe the nori sheets over a flame, they will catch almost immediately, so you have to be fast.
Crumble the seaweed between your hands into a bowl, depending on how singed it is, will determine how fine the dust is.
Take balls from fridge and roll in the nori crumbs.
Make a dimple in the top and dab with either wasabi or fish roe.
Japanese Cured Salmon
550g salmon fillet, skin on
50g sea salt
50g soft brown sugar
2tblspns rice wine vinegar
3 nori sheets
Mix the salt and brown sugar together and rub over salmon.
Blitz together saké, mirin, rice wine vinegar and two of the sheets of nori.
Place salmon Ziploc bag and pour over the wet mix.
Close Ziploc and put into a plastic tub with a lid; make sure it is skin side down.
Weight it down. Pop on the lid and place in the fridge for four days. Turn after two days and replace the weight.
Remove from tub and take salmon out of bag. Scrape off all the curing mix, rinse and pat dry.
Cover the top with the remaining sheet of nori and press firmly.
Serve thinly sliced with wasabi, pickled pink ginger and lime wedges. Use like smoked salmon.
Can be kept for up to two weeks in the fridge.
Huge thanks to Angela at the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation and Welch Fishmongers for the salmon.
(C) Lea Harris, Off the Eaten Track, 2015.