Saturday, April 28, 2007

Smoked Salmon Canapé with Fennel, Strawberries and Sichuan Peppercorns with Salted Sesame Brittle


This is my entry for the Swedish food blogging event Cyberkocken, which is like Paper Chef - which is, in turn, a bit like Iron Chef. You're given certain ingredients, and asked to come up with something fun. This time, the ingredients were salmon, sesame, fennel and a berry of some kind. Easy!

I decided to make a small canapé, a tiny appetizer that could be eaten in a few bites. You could of course make this a larger starter too. It's elegant and with very interesting flavors - it all goes so well together. The sesame brittle makes a rather large amount - but it does make a very yummy candy. I used a recipe for nougatine from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum, and that worked out really well - it was just as I had imagined.


Smoked Salmon Canapé with Fennel, Strawberries and Sichuan Peppercorns with Salted Sesame Brittle
4 small appetizers, or 2 larger

50 g smoked salmon
1/4 fennel
5-6 strawberries
1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
1-2 tsp coldpressed rapeseed oil
1/2-1 tsp sichuan peppercorns

Cut the samon into small strips. Slice the fennel as thin as you can, preferrably on a mandolin. Dice the strawberries. Mix everything with a bit of vinegar and rapeseed oil, taste to see that it's to your liking. Season with crushed sichuan peppercorns. Divide on plates, and top with a few fennel fronds.

Salted Sesame Brittle

130 g sugar
110 g corn syrup (I use Swedish white baking syrup, which apparently is a very good substitution.)
1 tbsp salted butter
200 ml (0,8 cups - you don't need to measure here, it's not crucial) toasted sesame seeds
flaky sea salt

First, toast your sesame seeds if they're not already toasted. This is easy in a large dry pan, but make sure they don't burn!

Bring sugar and syrup to a boil while stirring. When boiling, stop stirring, and let it boil undisturbed until it's a medium gold color. Watch very closely, once the color starts changing, it'll be quick. Remove from heat, stir in butter and sesame seeds and pour onto a teflon or silpat baking sheet. (Which you can oil, if you're concerned about sticking.) Put another similar sheet on top and use a rolling pin to get it as thin as you can. Uncover, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and let it cool completely before breaking into shards.

You can add a simple strawberry sauce to dot on the plate by mixing a few berries with a little white syrup, or sugar and water. Very tasty!

And since it's Saturday, I'll show you what it's like for me to take photos with the cats around:



Recipe in Swedish:
Kanapé på rökt lax, jordgubbar och fänkål med sichuanpeppar och saltat sesambräck


Pia K said...

Stunning pictures!:)

winedeb said...

Wow Anne, that is a mouthful to say without putting anything in your mouth to eat. Looks wonderful! I just love curious cats. My cat Fang is always into whatever I am doing! They love to be a part of everything! Too Fun!

Brilynn said...

Wonderful use of the ingredients! The cat's adorable!

At Home with kim vallee said...

I know the feeling, I got two cats. Charles likes to smell and taste our food if we step out of the table. Kasumi jumps on the counter to see what I am doing while I am cooking. I am lucky that she keeps her distance from the food at least. We try to train her to stop that behavior. But curious cats are hard to train. We must be alert!

Your canapé seems delicious. The colors grab our attention. Good work!

Anne said...

Pia - thank you!! :)

Winedeb - haha, yes, it got a little long :) Will have to shorten it to fit into those search boxes on the right, later on..

Brilynn, thank you!! :)

At Home with Kim Vallee - I totally know what you mean! Glinda - the one in the shot - is constantly interested when I'm cooking, she sits and watches and almost looks like she wants to learn. (But of course, she just wants to taste it.)

Lena said...

Wow! I get really hungry from that look, looks super tasty.

dankos said...

Great recipes. I cooked it . it was easy and wonderful. Thanks!

Nässelblom & choklad said...

Vad kul att du är med i Cyberkocken. Ditt bidrag ser jätteläckert ut.

Jeanne said...

What inspired use of the ingredients! And I had to laugh at the pic of the investigating kitty... Our visiting cats are endlessly fascinated by my infinity box and when I take it out to take a picture, all they want to do is get inside and shed a few black hairs on the nice clean white cardboard!! Needless to say, they have never been allowed to realise this ambition...