The group consists of 5 couples and each couple takes a turn hosting and planning one dinner during the course of a year. The host couple is in charge of the entree and perhaps one side dish and they assign a recipe to each couple to bring or make and assemble at the host couples' home. We all love to cook, research and try new recipes. Some of the husbands really get into the cooking aspect too, and others, like my husband, enjoy researching the wine.
For this holiday-themed gourmet, my husband and I (that translates to me) were given a recipe for Smoked Salmon Pinwheels for the first course. I know there are many smoked salmon pinwheel recipes out there but, what impressed me most about this recipe, was the delicious homemade crepes that held the pinwheels together. I could have eaten them as a meal on their own, they were so good! The 'bonus factor' with this recipe is the batter can be made two days ahead...the crepes made and refrigerated the day ahead, and the pinwheels assembled the morning of the party. I love recipes that have do-ahead features! Sam's Club carries some wonderful smoked salmon that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
The pinwheels 'logs' are wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated.
Then, they are cut into bite-sized pieces and topped with dill weed and salmon roe (optional).
They would make a wonderful New Year's Eve celebration appetizer!
Whether you celebrate the holidays with friends, family, pets or your own sweet self this is not a difficult recipe if you do it in stages as I did.
Smoked Salmon Pinwheels
~from Savoring Time in the Kitchen
1 large egg
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) whole milk
½ cup (2-1/2 oz/85 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 green onions, including tender green tops, finely chopped
Melted unsalted butter for cooking
4 oz (125 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz (125 g) thinly sliced smoked salmon or gravlax,
¼ cup (2 oz/60g) salmon roe
24 small fresh drill sprigs
To make the batter, combine the egg, milk, flour, butter, and a pinch of salt in a blender and process until smooth – about 30 seconds. Transfer the batter to a bowl and stir in the green onions. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight.
Remove the batter from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature before cooking – about 30 minutes. Stir the batter gently to redistribute the green onions.
Preheat a nonstick crepe pan or frying pan over medium heat. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the pan with melted butter. Lift the pan from the heat and hold it at a slight angle. Pour ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) of the batter into the pan and tip an swirl the pan to cover the pan evenly. Cook until the batter is almost dry and the edges have started to brown, about 1 minute. Using a wooden or silicone spatula, flip the crepe and cook until slightly browned on the second side and cooked, about 30 seconds longer. (I used my fingers to flip them over). Repeat with the remaining batter to create 4 large crepes. Let cool to room temperature. The cooked crepes can be stacked with waxed paper separating them, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Lay the 4 crepes on a work surface. Spread one=fourth of the cream cheese evenly over the surface of each crepe, leaving a ½ inch order uncovered around the entire edge. Lay one-fourth of the salmon over each cheese-topped crepe. Starting with the edge closest to you, tightly roll up each crepe into a cylinder. Wrap each crepe in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 4 hours before serving.
At serving time, remove the plastic wrap and, using a serrated knife, trim off ½ inch from each end of each rolled crepe. Slice the crepe crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Arrange the pieces, spiral side up, on a tray. Top each piece with ½ teaspoon of salmon caviar and a dill sprig. Serve at one.