SMOKED SALMON TARTAR ON SWEET POTATO CHIPS
Well, it’s been a while but sometimes life steps in and mixes things up for a while but now we are back at our Asheville bed and breakfast and ready to share with you some of the small bites we developed over the holidays. We spent new Year’s with our daughters and their friends on a small island on the coast of North Carolina. Some years back my oldest daughter Sarah claimed the title of “Canape Queen” in the family marrying her love of cooking with her enthusiasm to try new things. This recipe was developed by her for our New Year’s Party. While it seems like a dubious pairing, it was hands-down the favorite of the evening.
We started by making the Sweet Potato Chips. James had given me a mandolin for Christmas and I was eager to try it out so I quickly volunteered to make them. James is nothing if not thorough in his gift giving and he took care to read up about mandolins before buying me one. After he got over the initial confusion of thinking I wanted a musical instrument, he discovered that they are wonderful for making small even slices. They are also wonderful for taking small even slices off the hand of the cook if one is not careful, so he also invested in a special pair of metal gloves to protect my hands. I am not sure one needs both the protective handle and the gloves but if it makes him happy I’m not going to argue. After slicing the chips they need to rest in ice water in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. We sliced four sweet potatoes which made enough for 100 canapes, with some left over for serving as chips alone.
While they were resting, Sarah mixed up the tartar. The original recipe she found called for raw, fresh salmon but we weren’t sure how our guests might feel about that and since the canapes might be sitting out for a while so we decided to use smoked salmon instead. This means that it is not strictly a “tartar” but since one could use fresh salmon I decided to keep the name. I am going to give you the ingredients we used but you could certainly alter them to your taste.
After the chips finished crisping in the ice water, we dried them well and quickly fried them in some canola oil at medium high heat until they were lightly browned on the edges.Mine took one-two minutes to cook. The chips can be cooked in advance on the day and set aside until you are ready to assemble canapes. Any which you mean to serve without the tartar should be salted immediately when taken out of the oil to drain on a paper towel.
Smoked Salmon “Tartar” on Sweet Potato Chips
For the Chips:
2-4 large sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
About two inches of a neutral high temperature oil
Salt and Pepper
Slice the sweet potatoes very thinly then place in a bowl of ice water in the refrigerator for 2 hours prior to frying. Place about two inches of oil in a frying pan and heat to about 350 degrees over medium high heat. Dry the chips well and then fry in small batches until cooked and brown around the edges. Drain on paper towels until needed.
For the Tartar:
4-6 ounces Smoked Salmon or high quality fresh salmon
2 teaspoons very finely minced shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp whole grain mustard
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mince the salmon very finely then mix together with the seasonings until you like the taste then place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To assemble the canapes, place about 1-2 teaspoons of the tartar on each chip. Makes about 100 canapes.
This blog entry is dedicated to my father, Dr. Lawrence E. Hinkle, Jr. 1918-2012. He loved good food, good conversation and a good party.