Potato Pikelets, Smoked Salmon & Creme Fraiche with Shallot Sauce

Try these tasty potato pikelets for a great savoury treat in the morning, or if you prefer as a light lunch.

The components can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge, and then heated and assembled when required …

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

You’ll need:

For the sauce:

100ml extra virgin olive oil

50g shallots, finely diced or in rings

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 clove of garlic, bruised

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

25ml sherry wine vinegar

2 really ripe plum tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice

Sea salt and mill pepper to taste

Basil leaves from 2-3 stems, finely chopped

For the pikelets:

500g floury potatoes

60g unsalted butter, melted

1 egg yolk

250g thinly sliced smoked salmon

50ml horseradish

50ml crème fraiche

10 chives, most finely chopped but keep a few long batons for decoration

2 shallots

2 sprigs of dill

1 cucumber, sliced

black mill pepper to taste

What to do:

Firstly make the base for the sauce. Place all of the ingredients apart from the vinegar, tomatoes and basil into a small pan and put onto a gentle heat. Warm the sauce until it is hot but not boiling and cook for about 20 minutes. The shallots should be cooked and soft but not coloured.

The sauce can now be poured into a clear jar, covered and stored in the fridge when cool. I think this sauce is better made a day or two before you intend to use it, as it allows the flavours to infuse. With correct storage it will keep for a couple of weeks.

Peel, quarter and cook the potatoes on a steady simmer until just cooked. Take care not to over-cook the potatoes and let them become watery. Drain the cooked potatoes then return then to the pan and set over a low heat to evaporate off excess liquid.

Mash the potatoes through a moulin or potato ricer into a bowl and work in the melted butter and egg yolk. Season the mix and divide into 8 or 10 balls. Flatten the balls in a little flour to form pikelets and set onto a clean well-oiled baking tray. Bake the pikelets in a 180°c oven for 20 minutes. Carefully turn them over and cook for a further 20 minutes until light golden brown.

Allow the pikelets to cool then store them in an air-tight box.

To finish the sauce, warm it through once more and remove the garlic, thyme and bay. Stir in the vinegar and add the diced tomato and basil.

To serve set one of the pikelets in the centre of the plate and lay a slice of salmon on top. Place three slices of cucumber on the salmon with the edges showing. Mix some of the chives into the crème fraiche and then combine the crème fraiche and horseradish. Dress with the chive crème fraiche mixture, add the shallot rings and place a second slice of salmon on top.

Season with black pepper and finish with a second pikelet laid at an angle and some long chive batons. Spoon around some of the shallot sauce and serve.


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