It’s hot, hot, hot. The new big thing. Trendy.
It was all over the Fancy Food Show last month.
What am I talking about?
Smoked cheese, smoked meat, all sorts of jerky (dried smoked meat). Smoked caramel chocolates. Smoked vegetables. Even smoked sea salt.
I don’t like any of it.
Okay, maybe the smoked salt is good. And it’s true, I use a smoked turkey neck or wing when I make split pea soup.
But I really really dislike smoked mozzarella, liquid smoke-infused barbecue sauce, smoked turkey breast. Don’t give me smoked brisket or smoked pecan ice cream. Please, please NO smoked pizza. I don’t even like Lapsang Souchong Tea.
And yet —
Smoked Salmon is another whole thing. Gaspe Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon to be specific. The fancier stuff — Scottish, Irish, Norwegian and so on — is too dry and smoky for my tastes.
Give me Gaspe Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon. Soft, moist, glossy slices over a crispy potato pancake. Chopped and mixed with seasonings for Smoked Salmon Tartare. Pureed into Smoked Salmon Pate. Smeared with cream cheese and wrapped around asparagus as a quickie hors d’ouevre.
Or as a component of tea sandwiches, for some of the simplest, easiest party food nibbles there are. You can make these in minutes (okay, you will need some egg salad for starters). I don’t buy the expensive sliced salmon for these — the much cheaper “ends,” which many stores sell, is just fine.
Smoked Salmon and Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
16 slices loaf type bread (whole wheat, multigrain, white)
1 cup egg salad
1 cup finely chopped smoked salmon
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or dill, or 1/2 cup each
Place 8 slices of bread on a board and spread about 2 tablespoons of egg salad on each slice, evenly covering the entire surface up to the crust. Top each egg salad layer with chopped smoked salmon, using about 2 tablespoons for each piece. Spread half the mayonnaise on the remaining 8 slices of bread. Place these slices on top of the smoked salmon, press down lightly. Trim the crusts. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally, then cut each half in half diagonally. Use the remaining mayonnaise to spread on the cut surfaces of each triangle sandwich. Press the edges into the chopped herb to garnish the edges.
Makes 32 pieces
Here’s how I make egg salad: 3 large hard-cooked eggs — peel and grate into a bowl. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise, a small amount of Dijon mustard (optional) and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Makes one cup)