Smoked Salmon on Wonton Puff with Dill Cream Cheese
Smoked salmon is a very elegant ingredient to serve. It's slightly pricey but you don't need a whole lot to prepare a nice first entree.
I paired the salmon with a dill flavored cream cheese brightened with Meyer lemon juice and a fried wonton skin to add a little Asian flair and some crunch to the dish. Persian cucumbers are another nice contrast to the velvety texture of the smoked salmon.
Yields: 66 squares wonton dough, store-bought
3 Tbs canola oil, for frying
8 oz cream cheese, whipped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp pickled garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh dill, coarsely chopped
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs fresh onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1 Tbs capers, coarsely chopped
8 baby Persian cucumbers
1 1/2 Tbs Kosher salt
2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
12 slices smoked salmon, about 4 oz
1 Tbs Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp pink peppercorns, coarsely crushes
1 dash black peppercorns, freshly ground
1/4 cup pecan
2 Tbs sour cream
1/3 cup fresh walnuts
2 Tbs superfine sugar
Slice the cucumber on a bias into thin slices. Layer a cookie sheet on top of a cooling rack, then place the cucumber slices on top. Sprinkle kosher salt on both sides and let sit for 1/2 hour. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. Set aside.
In a small pan, dry roast the walnut for about 2-3 minutes, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar. Sautee the walnut in sugar for another minute by shaking the pan so each nut is coated with sugar. Remove from the heat. Let the walnuts cool down. Set aside.
Separate the wonton squares. Slightly wet edges of wrappers and fold all corners to form some kind of hexagonal/disk. Heat the oil in a frying pan that is about the size of the wonton square. The frying pan should be filled with at least 1/2 inch high level of oil. Wait until the oil is slightly bubbly (not too hot) when it comes in contact with the wonton dough. Fry one wonton square at a time. Keep flipping the wonton skin using chopsticks (or 2 forks) to prevent it from burning (about every 20 seconds). Transfer the wonton to a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat with the 5 other wonton squares. Set aside.
Cut the smoked salmon into disks using a circle cutter. Gather the rest of the salmon and cut into little pieces. Set aside.
Mix about 2 tablespoons of whipping cream to the whipped cream cheese to soften it. Add 2 teaspoons of dill, the finely chopped salmon, garlic, garlic powder, onion, capers, lemon juice, pink peppercorns and the Himalayan salt .
Place the circle cutter on a salad plate. Place a small dollop of dill cream cheese mixture in the center. Layer with the cured cucumbers forming a pretty flower shape by fanning the slices out. Place another layer of cream cheese, top with a wonton skin, sprinkle the poppy seeds, then cover with another layer of cream cheese. Top with the circle of salmon.
Decorate with 2 slices of cucumbers, the candied walnuts and a little dill. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle a lemon vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
Serve with a piece of baguette.
Pink peppercorns have a delicate, fragrant, sweet, and spicy flavor. They are reminiscent of a mild citrus zest and sweet berries. Pink peppercorns go especially well in fruit sauces, vinaigrettes, and desserts. These peppercorns have a rich rose color that adds an elegant appearance to any cuisine.
If you're health-conscious, you can bake the wonton dough instead of frying it. Just cut the wonton into disks using the circle cutter. Brush with some butter. Sprinkle the poppy seeds, then bake for 5 minutes at 400°F. It's not as puffy, but still crispy.
You can use fresh garlic instead of the pickled garlic but the garlic is going to be a lot stronger.
You can use a pastry bag to get a more even layer of cream cheese mixture.
During assembly time, the first layer of cream cheese acts like an adhesive and prevent the cucumbers from sliding.
I'll post the Meyer lemon vinaigrette soon...
Salt draws the moisture out of things. Just sprinkle some kosher salt on any vegetable, then pat dry with a paper towel. I used this process for my eggplant rollups, check out the recipe here.
You can find circle cutters in any restaurant supply store or kitchen store like Smart and Final or Janus at 261 Main St. Los Altos CA 94022. As Anthony Bourdain says your food will look so much more elegant using these little tools.
It's best to serve these entrees immediately so the wonton puff stays crispy.
The plate that I used in the photo is from Apilco. It is from their "Nara" collection. I love them!Published By: on March 14, 2009.