I have always had my reservations about putting salmon on the menu. While I am still very picky when it comes to this fish, the only one I will ever consider is caught in the wild and thus is very seasonal. Because salmon season happens to be right now, we opted for some wild caught & smoked, sockeye salmon.
Beautiful sockeye salmon distinguishes itself from the herd by its deep orange and vibrantly red color, delicate flesh, and its rather small size. It also has a price tag of $17+ per pound. Salmon is not a bad fish, however, since virtually every restaurant in the US now seems to have salmon on its menu, demand has dramatically risen – and so farmed salmon is born! Even though every fish supplier tends to swear that their farmed salmon is different from the other, the fish is still farmed and represents nothing compared to its wild counterpart. When you receive farmed fish you will notice its pristine appearance, perfect size, and uniform look. In contrast, when you receive a wild caught salmon you are experiencing a specimen that has fought for its survival, has plenty of scars and comes in a wide variety of sizes.
One of my favorite foods involving this wonderful fish happens to be smoked salmon cream cheese! While I am really not sure how I fell in love with this rather bizarre food, if done well, it is absolutely delightful – and I believe should therefore be enjoyed frequently. Although a beautifully smoked Sockeye salmon would normally have me dreaming of a toasted bagel or some sort of seeded bread, I chose a thin, savory crepe to highlight this ingredient. Whereas bread is nice, a crepe is more like an illusion of a bread – and can therefore even be enjoyed by the most health conscious and calorie counting patron. So, here we go … crepe, remoulade, organic lettuce, salmon cream cheese and wild Alaskan, alder wood smoked, sockeye salmon … rolled, cut and beautifully presented!
Crepe – Savory
We start with a savory crepe batter (eggs, milk, sugar, Kosher salt) and add a bit of freshly cut parsley. What separates savory from sweet crepe batter is a lot less sugar, more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Of course we can add some fish specific herbs like dill, cilantro, chives and mint as well. Our crepes are a good alternative to bread, bagels, flat breads and tortillas since they have less calories, are freshly made and always skillfully crafted. I am not a fan of recipes as I do most things with eyeball measuring, skill and experience, however here is a recipe that I have found to be helpful. We have done a crepe class at the Blue Door before and if you might be interested, why not contact us?
For this application I modified an original remoulade recipe just a bit – to better accompany the crepe. Sour cream is seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice. We also fine dice some fresh cucumbers, pickles and locally grown apples. Blend all ingredients together and finish with fine sliced chives. The goal is an easy to spread sauce that can be applied to a fresh, hot crepe.
Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese
In a food processor, start by blending whole milk cream cheese (organic works best) with a bit of milk – in order to get a spreadable texture. Add bits of smoked salmon until you reach the desired flavor and color. Blend smooth and season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. You can opt to apply the cheese with a spatula or simply use a pastry bag to squeeze. A nicely seasoned smoked salmon cream cheese is actually really delicious and versatile. It works great on most breads, bagels and rolls. For the sake of honesty, I do admit that when on the go, I do indulge in an Einstein Bagels once in a while! I am very predictable …
“May I have a toasted sesame bagel with smoked salmon cream cheese & a small coffee, please ?”
There are no real rules except your creativity. Although fresh crepes are best enjoyed warm, this one works at room temperature or even served cold. It is creamy, smooth and crunchy – especially served with a nice green salad.
As always, if you feel tired of the same old thing, then why not come in and give this a try? We are always improving our menu with respect to ingredients, preparation and presentation.
Sincerely – Chef Torsten