Red salmon and herbs in puff pastry bites, with a drizzle of creme fraiche.
This recipe was originally created for A Series of Unfortunate Cooking Classes.
Makes 24 salmon puffs
1 can (7.5 oz) wild salmon, preferably red (unsalted)
2 Tb olive oil
4 Tb creme fraiche at room temperature, divided
1 Tb plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 fat garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (or half this amount if using table salt), plus a pinch more if needed
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 14-oz sheet frozen puff pastry such as DuFour, defrosted
Flour for rolling out
Chives cut into spears approx 1 inch long
1. Drain the salmon, put it in a medium bowl and remove any large bones. (See notes.)
2. Add the olive oil, 2 Tablespoons of the creme fraiche, mustard, thyme and parsley. Finely grate the garlic into the salmon, add the salt and pepper and mix everything to blend thoroughly. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Set the salmon mixture aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle position.
4. Remove the pastry from the packaging and lay it on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll the pastry with a rolling pin to nudge it into a rough rectangle, smoothing the center fold flat, without pressing too hard. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut the pastry into rounds and fit them into the mini-muffin tin. Spoon a small portion (about 1/2 teaspoon) of salmon into each pastry. Do not overfill, or it may spill out and burn on the pan as the puff pastry rises.
5. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until light golden brown and puffy. (If the pastry deflates after you remove it from the oven, this means it's underbaked and you need to put it back in.) Let cool a few minutes in the pan, then remove puffs to a rack.
6. When the puffs have cooled somewhat, spoon a small dab of the remaining creme fraiche onto each puff, and insert 3 chive spears to stand up vertically, for extra fanciness. :)
Any salmon bones you come across are actually completely edible and contain lots of calcium! I feel obligated to tell you this as a responsible person who does not like to waste food. However, since this is fancy party food, you're going to want to remove them so your guests don't have any rustic crunchy surprises in their salmon puffs. You can freeze the bones to throw into some future fish stock, or toss them into compost. (Any other ideas?)