Bon Appétit (May 2010)
You know in old sitcoms, when the husband comes home from work, frantic, because the boss and his wife are unexpectedly coming over for dinner? And the wife (unless she's Samantha Stevens) flips out, because how can she possibly plan and cook a dinner with no notice? Especially one that'll impress the boss and help her husband land that big promotion he's up for!
These hors d'oeuvres are worth keeping up your sleeve for just such an occasion.
The little bites use all store-bought ingredients (unless you want to make your own crème fraîche, which actually is incredibly easy) and can be assembled in seconds.
They sound impressive, they look delectable and they're a snap to throw together at the last minute. Your hubby's boss will be wowed!
There's just one little problem: They don't taste all that great.
Sometimes there's nothing more disappointing than seeing a recipe you really want to try, bookmarking it, finally making it after months of waiting for the right occasion, and then, well, not liking it very much. Such was the case with this recipe.
The problem here is that after assembling the appetizers and popping one in your mouth, they taste, well, like each of the components. Rather than feeling like a cohesive bite, they just taste like some chips, salmon and crème fraîche.
In the recipe's defense, there were a few things awry with our ingredients.
Our smoked salmon could have been better. We snagged it on a run to Trader Joe's the day prior. We love Trader Joe's, but when we opened the package, it was evident that we could have done better. It was, for certain, not as thin as we would have liked.
And we made our own crème fraîche, as we have done before, by mixing 2 tablespoons of buttermilk into 1 cup of cream and letting it set on our kitchen counter for 24 hours. After 24 hours, it was not as thick as we had hoped. On a recent episode of The Splendid Table, Lynn suggested that it sometimes takes up to 48 hours to set, so maybe we didn't leave it out long enough. We fixed the creme, however, by whipping it with a hand mixer to thicken it up. You make it lemony by stirring in zest, which was quite delicious.
AND we made our own potato chips. Just kidding. We bought the best quality black pepper chips we could find.
But all together? It was kind of a snooze. Our guests ate them, but no one raved. But then again, no one cried either. So like we said: disappointment.
We still think there's something here, though. The idea of using a potato chip as a base for an app is a fun one. Surely there's a way to top the chips that would make for a better appetizer, or something we can add to improve it.
So don't discount these appetizers. They may not cement your husband's promotion at the firm, but they're certainly not going to get him fired, either. And they'll buy you plenty of time to twitch your nose and whip up a fabulous three-course dinner -- or order some Chinese.
Smoked Salmon with Black Pepper Potato Chips and Lemon Crème Fraîche
Bon Appetit (May 2010)
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• PREP: 5 minute
• TOTAL: 5 minutes
• 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
• 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
• 16 large black pepper or salt-and-pepper potato chips
• 1 4-ounce package thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into 16 pieces
• Chopped fresh chives
Stir crème fraîche and lemon peel in small bowl. Arrange potato chips on plate. Divide salmon among chips. Spoon rounded 1/2 teaspoon lemon crème fraîche atop salmon on each chip and sprinkle with chives.