I am smiling because this recipe came about from another idea, that stemmed from another............. and so on and so forth, lol. Nicoletta and I were doing some meal planning and also we had some salmon in the freezer I had bought from Bi- Coastal Seafood here in Edmonton. We usually don't freeze a lot of things, as we like to eat fresh. So the story goes like this, we wanted to use up the salmon which started to be something I would have prepared Nicoletta for Christmas dinner as she doesn't eat turkey or chicken, marinated in some herbs and spices then baked in the oven, but that was kibosh-ed because there were too many things on the menu, so the salmon went to be used for a dinner just after Christmas with a nice salad, tasty and light it would be a refreshing change from festive meals. But that never happened as other foods on the must use list made it to the forefront and the salmon was slowly fading in the background. Don't dismay, it's not over yet.
We were out at a great Cafe, called WoodRack in south Edmonton, their hours were not conducive to our schedule but it just so happened that they were open for boxing day, so we seized the opportunity. We were there having some wonderful coffee and tasting their wares, talking about what we were going to make for dinner one night and that flat bread pizzas would be great, I had a vision of a flat bread with a salmon mousse for a sauce and some capers and onions, sun dried tomatoes. Nicoletta didn't share my enthusiasm and was not seeing what I was, but I knew that I had to try and work this inspiration out and impress her to be excited.
To the cooking board I go, a few deep breaths to clear the air and the performance anxiety I was feeling, and then wait for that guidance I usually receive. This is how it usually works for me, ingredients usually pop in my head along with ideas. The first was to marinate the salmon in dill, mayo, sesame, thyme and salt and pepper, I heated up some olive oil in a pan and seared all sides of the salmon. Nice and caramelized set aside to cool. Ingredients floating through my head something nutty, pecans and almonds we have, some garlic stem removed to take out the acidity, olive oil, sun dried tomatoes for that intensified flavor, and to make this mousse really creamy roasted garlic goat cheese bought at the Italian Center Shop. Into the food processor the ingredients go along with the salmon flaked apart and skin removed. The smell is amazing pulse after pulse, all those scents along with that oh so familiar garlic. Then another thought comes: just to lighten the flavor of this mousse just a touch of some mayo. Salt and pepper to taste, and we are set to use this wonderful mousse.
As I had said before, our initial plan was flat bread which we did make and was absolutely amazing, but then we thought this would make a great appetizer on toasted multi grain bread rounds, which Nicoletta made, a dollop of the mousse nicely placed with a piping bag into the center, some diced home made pickles from my parents cantina (cold storage room), slivers of sun-dried tomato, and there you have a beautiful canapé, great for any gathering or festive party. Nicoletta also really pulled these babies together with her creativity using pickle rounds as a base, ingeneous! The taste smooth that richness of the salmon seared with herbs and spices caramelized offering a sweet edge to this meaty fish, the roasted garlic goat cheese melding bringing a nice smooth slight pungent maturity to the mousse, the olive oil with hints of grass and earth, basil paste adding freshness and vibrancy, the sun-dried tomatoes giving the mousse a nice reddish hue and adding that sweet rich flavor gifted to us by the sun, can't forget that buttery nutty flavor of the pecans and almonds, finally just that bit of mayo to bring it all together smoothing all those edges out to give this appetizer a sophisticated and luxurious appearance.
I guess I achieved my goal of impressing Nicoletta, she loved the mousse and also was inspired by the force of creativity, which I love witnessing, so beautiful it is, brings yet another smile to my face. With lights dimmed a bit and festive decorations making their last stand on this day after the beginning of the New Year, some nice white Chardonnay wine, home made, a craft I inherited from my father, that I so enjoy making, and these lovely Salmon Mousse Canapeés. A wonderful start to the new year.
From our kitchen to yours:
Happy New Year!
- 5 ounces of fresh Atlantic salmon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 table spoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 small clove garlic minced
- Salt and pepper
- Cooked salmon, flaked and skin removed
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
- 1 clove garlic stem removed
- 1 ½ tablespoons basil paste
- 4 sun dried tomatoes in olive oil chopped
- 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
- 200 grams of packaged roasted garlic goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons pecans
- 2 tablespoons almonds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Salmon mousse
- 4 slices of multi grain bread
- 2 sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 pickles ½ diced, ½ round slices
- Place salmon in a deep dish and salt and pepper both sides.
- In another small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, mayo, dill, thyme, parsley, and mix well.
- Pour mixture over salmon and with hands coat fish well.
- Place in fridge for about an hour.
- Heat up remaining olive oil in a pan to medium - high heat.
- Place salmon into pan and sear all sides to a nice caramelized golden brown color, using a set of tongs to hold fish in place.
- When salmon is cooked through, place on a dish to cool.
- Place flaked salmon into food processor.
- Add olive, garlic and basil paste, pulse till salmon gets smooth.
- Toss in goat cheese, and sun dried tomatoes and blend again.
- Place in pecans and almonds.
- Pour in mayo, salt and pepper to taste.
- Blend till mousse is well blended and smooth.
- Take bread and using a 2 inch cookie cutter cut rounds.
- Pre heat oven to 350° F.
- Drizzle rounds with olive oil and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Put in oven and cook till toasted and golden brown.
- Take out of oven and cool.
- Place mousse in a piping bag and pipe mousse onto bread rounds.
- Place some diced pickles onto mousse and top with a few slivers of sun-dried tomato.
- For pickle rounds place mousse on pickle then top with sun-dried tomato slivers.
- Ready to serve.
Nice served with a good white wine such as a chardonnay.
May need to add more olive oil or mayo to get smoothness that you want.