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Franci

Smoked fish appetizer ideas

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Next week we have a Chinese guest for dinner. Our guest is used to traveling but still I don't know him, so I don't know his food preferences. I'd like to serve mainly fish, I'd like to start with a multitude of small appetizers, just because being Chinese I'm sure he is used and appreciate variety on the table, then I'll probably serve spaghetti with clams, some lobster tails on the grill, some sides and possibly another fish dish.

So, going back to appetizers, I want to serve different smoked fishes but with Mediterranean ingredients and  keep it harmonious. I'm also thinking of a small plate or two of fried fish, like baccala' fritters, and an octopus potato salad.

 

Any ideas?

 

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Mini bagels and lox?

 

Or, smoked salmon on pumpernickel w/mustard + dill?

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Smoked salmon mousse waffles with a little bit of kalix roe...  *drool*   Not Mediterranean  but oh so yummy

 

I know father´s  Italian  friend use grav lax in a roll thing, it not smoked but my father says it yummy.  A thin bread , like pizza base but thinner, baked.  Spread with cream cheese and pesto and then thin slices of grav lax, rolled up, tightly wrapped in  cling film or a town for 2 hours and then cut into slices.

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Lebovitz has an interesting cod appetizer recipe in My Paris Kitchen:

 

Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce (accras de morue a la sauce tartare).

 

The interwebs have many variations of this recipe.

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Many ideas, thanks. I think I'll write a list and start crossing what doesn't match, too difficult to source  or too elaborate and come up with a plan.

 

I hot smoke salmon belly to make a smoke fish salad often

 

Scuba, would you like to share your recipe

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You dont need to use Kalix roe, any hard roe like salmon or lumpfish will do.   I  used to eat more back in the day before it got expensive, it was just something we got when we visited family members.  The waffle is just one heart of a waffle, it a neutral crisp waffle, not sweet nor savory , just perfect.

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If you're near an Ikea, buy their mini pastry cups then fill with your smoked fish product of choice. For fancy I've filled them halfway with Greek yogurt or sour cream, then topped with salmon caviar. Or just fill them up with the smoked cod roe, salmon paste or crab paste Ikea sells in squeeze tubes for an easy, cheap and extremely fishy canapé.


Edited by rlibkind (log)

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Deviled eggs with smoked trout or whitefish mashed in with the yolks.  Garnish and accents as fit with the rest of your menu.

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Franci,

I start with the belly flaps that I cut away from a full sides of salmon and give them a short maybe an hour or two brine ~ 10-15% salt. After rinsing and a brief soak and dry I like to rub on a little maple syrup before I smoke @ 160-170f with apple wood until done. You can add a bit of a low salt rub before smoking as well. I uses some of the Dizzy Pig BBQ rubs since I like them and I know the owner. It usually gets stashed in the fridge until the next day before it gets flaked. Eating some off the smoker is a prerequisite. I usually add some finely diced mini multicolored sweet peppers for color, celery and onion and or what ever you like. Some herbs you like. Parsley, cilantro, thyme.....

The last time I added a fine dice of cappers and kosher pickles for a bit more tang and salt. Dressing is usually fresh lime or lemon juice and a little mayo to hold it together plus anything else you like. As you see I have few recipes per say and it's always off the cuff tasting as I go

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Spago in Beverly Hills makes a smoked salmon pizzetta that's one of its signature dishes. For all its reputation, it's simple to make. You bake the pizzetta crust with some sliced red onion, and when the pizza comes out of the oven, you garnish the bread with dill-flavored sour cream (I prefer creme fraiche), smoked salmon slices, chives and caviar. A little lemon zest on top tastes good too. I routinely sub salmon caviar for Spago's sevruga.

 

The original recipe is here:
http://www.wolfgangpuck.com/recipes/appetizers/Pizza-with-Smoked-Salmon-and-Caviar

 

Dill Cream: http://www.wolfgangpuck.com/recipes/sauces-and-dressings/Dill-Cream

 

ETA: I like this pizza with plain garlic oil.

 

Years ago I attended a cooking demo by Jean-Pierre Moullé, then exec chef at Chez Panisse. He made an appetizer of salmon rillettes. Here's the recipe if you want to play with it.

 

Salmon Rillettes, adapted recipe from Chef Jean-Pierre Moullé:
Combine 1 lb King salmon, steamed and flaked; 1/4 lb smoked salmon, finely diced; 1 TB EACH finely chopped chervil, chives, parsley; 1 large shallot, diced fine; juice of 1/2 lemon; 2 TB softened butter; 2 TB olive oil; a little yogurt (optional); S & P (generous with the pepper). Mash and combine lightly. The texture should be very coarse like tunafish. Refrigerate for 1 hr. This recipe can be made one day ahead. Serve on toasts.
Notes: Moullé wrapped the salmon in plastic wrap, steamed it until medium rare, let it cool, then flaked it. He said this inhibited the fishy smell. (I haven't made this recipe, so I dunno.) For something decadent, you can stuff the rillettes in  pâte à choux, and serve with an aperitif of white wine or champagne.


Edited by djyee100 (log)
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AS your guest is Chinese, I'd be wary of over-relying on dishes with sour cream or Greek yoghurt etc.  He may be OK with it, but many, if not most Chinese people have an aversion to dairy in savoury dishes. 

 

Yoghurt is widely consumed, but in China is a thin, watery substance laced with enough sugar to give your dentist a mental breakdown. I have served Greek style yoghurt to Chinese friends - most were less than impressed, while some thought it truly disgusting. Sour cream is all but unknown. I've only occasionally seen it in shops in the largest cities which cater for expats.

 

Smoked salmon would probably go down well. It is seen as a very luxurious choice in China. Otherwise, it's difficult to say without knowing the man's eating habits. 

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If you didn't mind swapping the octopus salad you could try this smoked eel and potato salad. There's also this smoked eel canape, although it does contain creme fraiche, bearing in mind what Liuzhou has said. You can also add smoked eel to a salade frisee aux lardons, or you could use smoked mussels for the bruschetta with greens posted above.

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AS your guest is Chinese, I'd be wary of over-relying on dishes with sour cream or Greek yoghurt etc.  He may be OK with it, but many, if not most Chinese people have an aversion to dairy in savoury dishes. 

 

Yoghurt is widely consumed, but in China is a thin, watery substance laced with enough sugar to give your dentist a mental breakdown. I have served Greek style yoghurt to Chinese friends - most were less than impressed, while some thought it truly disgusting. Sour cream is all but unknown. I've only occasionally seen it in shops in the largest cities which cater for expats.

 

Smoked salmon would probably go down well. It is seen as a very luxurious choice in China. Otherwise, it's difficult to say without knowing the man's eating habits. 

 

Thanks Liuzhou, my husband is a good benchmark, although his taste is no more Chinese, many things stayed with him. He dislikes creamy dressings and not particularly found of cheese either.

 

I got many good ideas here. Today and tomorrow I'll see what ingredients I can buy without too much running around from place to place.

Plantes Verdes, unfortunately, differently than Europe I don't see smoked eel that often here. Not that you cannot find it, I'm sure, but I need to get out of my way to source it.


Edited by Franci (log)

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Franci, smoked salmon and trout are always good anywhere, but where you said Mediterranean, I think of them as cold, northern-waters fish.  Can you get a good smoked roe to make taramasalata?  How about some smoked tuna for a carpaccio, or some good tuna home-smoked in a covered pan with a piece of hot charcoal in a metal cup covered with onion skins?

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