Are you staying in this New Year's Eve? If you're one of the many throwing an intimate gathering or attending a house party, consider counting down the clock with elegant salmon-topped potato bites.
Smoked salmon, cream, and grated potato pancakes are a classic pairing — but on a busy night like New Year's Eve, skip the labor-intensive task of grating potatoes and halve them instead. If you prefer a pared-down flavor profile, top potatoes with a simple combination of salmon, fennel, lemon, and sour cream.
For a blowout appetizer, up the sophistication factor by stuffing delicate fingerlings with a home-preserved lemon topping, crème fraîche, and indulgent — but sustainable — American caviar. See both options when you read on.
12 small (1 1/2-inch) red boiling potatoes
2 ounces smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fennel bulb (sometimes called anise)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Garnish: fennel fronds or fresh dill sprigs
- Cover potatoes with salted water by 1 inch in a large saucepan, then simmer, uncovered, until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool.
- Stir together salmon, fennel bulb, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Halve cooled potatoes and season cut sides with salt and pepper. Arrange, cut sides up, on a platter (if potatoes wobble, cut a thin slice off rounded bottoms), then dot each with 1/2 teaspoon sour cream. Mound salmon on top.
Makes 24 hors d'oeuvres.
1/2 cup water
4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1 teaspoon (packed) minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon (packed) minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely crushed cumin seeds
12 small fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 14 ounces)
3 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch-by-2 1/2-inch strips
1 ounce caviar
Small fresh dill sprigs, for garnish
- Using vegetable peeler, remove peel (yellow part only) from lemons. Simmer peel, 1/2 cup water, and 4 teaspoons kosher salt in heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat until salt dissolves. Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons and peel is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer peel with liquid to jar. Add lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 1 week.
- Drain peel; mince. Stir crème fraîche, minced dill, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon minced peel in small bowl. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
- Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 450°F. Brush nonstick baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil and cumin in large bowl. Add potatoes; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on baking sheet and roast until tender and cut sides are brown, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly.
- Arrange potato halves, cut side up, on platter. Top each with 1 teaspoon crème fraîche, 1 salmon strip, and 1/2 teaspoon caviar. Garnish with dill sprigs.
Makes 24 hors d'oeuvres.