Hosting a holiday party is meant to be a fun experience, and festive small bites, inspired dips, and tasty spreads, especially ones made with traditional oak-smoked Irish salmon, can mitigate stress. For the festive season, serve hot- or cold-smoked salmon on these little potato pancakes, or in easy-to-make bread baskets (recipe follows). Top the salmon with a dollop of sour cream or crème frâiche and a sprinkling of fresh chives.
2 large potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4–1/2 cup whole milk
Butter for frying
1/2 lb. smoked salmon, cut into
24 (1/2-in.-wide) strips
1/2 cup sour cream or crème frâiche
Fresh chives for garnish
To make the pancakes, put the potatoes, egg, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse 4–5 times to blend, and then gradually add enough of the milk to make a thick, smooth batter.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with butter. Drop spoonful of batter into the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until browned and heated through. Repeat with additional butter and remaining batter. Cakes can be served immediately or refrigerated, covered, overnight; reheat in a hot oven.
To serve, put a spoonful of sour cream or crème frâiche on top of each pancake. Put a piece of rolled salmon on top, sprinkle with pepper, and garnish with chives.
Bread Baskets with Horseradish-Mustard Cream
Makes 24 baskets
No time to make pancakes? Try these simple baskets made with white sandwich bread topped with salmon and tangy horseradish-mustard sauce.
6 slices white sandwich bread
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 lb. smoked salmon, chopped
5 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tbsp. wholegrain mustard
1 tsp. dried parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Caviar, smoked salmon, or cod roe for topping
1. To make the bread baskets, preheat the oven 350° F. Butter the wells of a 24-cup mini-muffin pan.
2. Trim crust from bread, and with a rolling pin, flatten each slice. Cut each slice into four squares, and then gently press one square into each cup. Brush with the melted butter and bake for 20–25 minutes or until crisp. Remove the bread baskets from the pan.
3. To make the horseradish-mustard cream, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, horseradish, mustard, parsley, and pepper. To serve, divide the chopped salmon into each basket and spoon a little of the cream over. Top with some caviar or roe.