First, I can’t help but show off the rest of my exam. My composed salad was a Crab and Avocado Timbale with Crème Fraîche and Red and Yellow Pepper Coulis:
I was very happy with my timbale, but my coulis did not come out the way I wanted at all. I will definitely be doing a post on making a coulis so that I can work on that skill!
For my appetizer, I made Chicken Satay and a Petit Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette:
As for my hors d’oeuvres, I made Mini Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche. The idea is not completely original—it has definitely been done before, but I like the use of the latke as a base rather than the expected bread or cracker.
These are very simple to produce. The quantities I give will give you around 30 hors d’oeuvres, so go ahead and adjust as needed. Whisk together two eggs, ½ cup flour, a teaspoon of Kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Then, stir in the white parts of two chopped scallions, and two medium russet potatoes, peeled and grated. This is your latke batter.
When you take them out of the pan, let them drain on paper towels and sprinkle them with a tiny bit of Kosher salt. Keep them warm in a 200 F oven until all the latkes are made.
To assemble the hors d’oeuvres, start with your lovely golden latkes:
Drop about a half teaspoon of crème fraîche on each latke, and spread it slightly with the back of a spoon.
Next, place a thin slice of smoked salmon, about 2 inches or 5 centimeters long on top of the crème fraîche. Roll or fold it gently so it fits.
Finally, top with a chive spear.
That’s about all there is to it! Now, you have a classy and simple hors d’oeuvre that almost anyone will love, anyone who likes salmon. Well, anyone who likes salmon and crème fraîche. OK, anyone who likes salmon, crème fraîche, and potatoes latkes. Hopefully, that's a lot of people.Now, don’t go away just yet. If you’re interested, these are a couple of notes that my instructor gave me to improve these:
• To make the latkes look cleaner and be a more uniform size, use a small, round cookie cutter or ring mold to shape the latkes in the pan. Personally, I like the rustic look of the grated potato sticking out around the size of the latkes, but using a mold will definitely give you a sleeker look.
• To help hold the chive garnish in place, and to add more color contrast, place a small dot of crème fraîche on top of the smoked salmon before topping the hors d’oeuvre with the chive.