Some ten days ago I had invited a friend of some friends and a young American colleague over for dinner. I wanted the dinner to be slightly Nordic in honour of our overseas guest, who was also a fish-eating vegetarian. The main dish was a beetroot and blue cheese risotto (beetroot qualifying as the 'Nordic' element there:), and we started the meal with small smoked salmon and dill tartlets. Dill is one of the most-loved and most-used herbs in Estonia, and as the country is surrounded by water on three sides, then fish is a suitably suitable main ingredient, too.
A note on smoked salmon. Here in Estonia, you can buy either hot-smoked salmon or cold-smoked salmon. When I moved to Scotland, I found it confusing when recipes just asked for 'smoked salmon' and didn't specify which type of smoked salmon they're talking about. Eventually I learned that 'smoked salmon' always indicates 'cold-smoked salmon' and 'hot-smoked salmon' always says so on the tin/packet..
Smoked salmon and dill tartlets
Source: BBC Good Food, July 2004
300 grams shortcrust pastry
150 grams cold-smoked salmon or trout
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
200 ml single cream
freshly ground black pepper
dill sprigs and fresh lime or lemon wedges
Divide the pastry into six, roll into thin circles and line six individual Ø 10 cm pastry forms with them. Prick with a fork and put into a freezer for 15 minutes to reduce shrinking in the oven.
Pre-bake for 15 minutes at 200Celsius, until slightly golden. (If you prefer to blind bake your pastry cases, then cover with parchment paper and dried beans, bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper&beans and bake for further 5 minutes).
Cut the smoked salmon into thin strips and lay on shortcrust cases.
Whisk the eggs with dill, add single cream and season with salt and pepper. Pour over salmon.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the filling has set and the tartlets are golden brown on top.
Serve at once, or wrap in foil and keep in the freezer. Defrost, and re-heat at 180Celsius for 4-6 minutes until warm.
Garnish with dill and citrus wedges.