Friday, January 26, 2007

Smoked salmon & dill tartlets

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
Serves 6

300 grams shortcrust pastry
150 grams cold-smoked salmon or trout
2 eggs
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
200 ml single cream
freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:
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.


Anonymous said...

Looks yummy!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Dill and smoked salmon are a perfect combination!

Linda said...

goll-y this looks so savory. thanks for sharing the recipe! homesick texan is right -- it IS a perfect combo and yet I wouldn't have thought of it :)

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely delicious Pille! I love salmon with dill! Salmon is a bit pricey over here but I can't help but indulge ever now and then :) (I used to stuff myself silly on salmon in the market in Helsinki!)

Anonymous said...

This is so much down my alley. And I had to smile tonight as I was preparing a beetroot risotto. Every time I now cook with beets, I have to think of you! ;-)

Ilva said...

Pille, you almost make me homesick! Next time I go to IKEA I'll buy some salmon and then I just need to hunt down the dill and I'm prepared to start cooking these wonderful little beauties!

Anonymous said...

Sounds delish! But wait, I'm not the only fish-eating "vegetarian" American in Estonia? And here I thought I was special.

Anonymous said...

wonderful pic! This salad tartle likes very good

Pille said...

Dagmar - it was, and definitely a bit svenska:)

Homesick Texan - indeed! I made a smoked salmon and dill sandwich cake the other day (post coming soon) - such lovely and powerful flavour combination!

Linda - thanks for your kind words!

Joey - it works perfectly well with smoked trout, too (I actually buy whatever looks nicer/cheaper usually)

Bea - I posted my beetroot risotto recipe now, but am very much looking forward to reading about yours (and, just as importantly, drooling over your so-much-better photography)

Ilva - sorry for making you homesick:) But you knew all about the dill & smoked salmon pairing, so I was just reminding you a little;)

Rachel - indeed:) Maybe you and Sara should organise a small get-together for likeminded people (i.e. fish-eating vegetarian Americans abroad:)

Francesca - thanks!!