At a recent celebration at our place, my niece brought over a delightful smoked salmon hors d ‘oeuvres (pictured below) to our house. Beautifully made phyllo pastry tarts, a container of sauteed leeks and sour cream. She assembled it on site so it would have a crispy crust, delightfully warm center and cool smoked salmon and caper topping. We thoroughly enjoyed every bite, but she left me with a whole lot of smoked salmon. So what to do with smoked salmon? There is only so much smoked salmon you can eat, and you can’t re-freeze it.

So I wanted to share some ideas with you as I’m sure I’m not the only one who has thrown away smoked salmon that has gone bad because you just couldn’t finish it. I’ve put these in a pastry and presented it several ways as an alternative to the traditional. The premise is really simple, turn the salmon slices into a tastier filling. I used onions, chilies, garlic and capers. I sautéed the onions until soft, then added the chilies, garlic and capers. I left the capers whole as a nice surprise when you bit into the filling. The crust supporting all of this is also a treat. It’s from my culinary days at school. I added some curry powder – Jamaican beef patty style, to the flour before making the dough. This gave the pastry a nice bite and complimented the otherwise usual taste of smoked salmon.

For the filling
2 medium onion, small dice
4 Thai chillies, small dice
4 cloves garlic, mashed
1/4 cup capers
almost 1 lb of smoked salmon (whatever you have left over), chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a medium frying pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, when hot add the onion and saute until softened and lightly golden
Add the garlic and stir, add the chillies and stir
Cook for 2 minutes until all the components are mixed well – season with salt and pepper
Add the capers and stir – let cool slightly
Add the smoked salmon and stir – the salmon should cook through at this stage, add the cilantro
Taste, season and taste again – let cool

For the dough:
250g pastry flour or all purpose flour
5 ml (1 tsp.) curry powder
112g butter, cut into small cubes
5g salt
60ml cold water

To a stand mixer, add the flour, curry powder and butter, mix on low speed until pea size chunks appear
Dilute salt in cold water and add to the flour
Mix until just combined
Pull together and wrap in plastic – refrigerate for at least 2 hours
Once ready, remove from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature
Roll on a lightly floured surface

Options:
1 – Roll the dough to 1/8″ thickness on a lightly floured surface – cut 1 1/4″ squares and place in a mini muffin tin
Bake at 375f for 15 minutes
Fill about 1 tsp of salmon filling into the cups, top with sour cream and chives or capers
2 – Roll the dough to 1/8″ thickness, in rectangular or round shape, transfer to a parchment lined baking tray (using the rolling pin to move the dough)
Spread the smoked salmon mixture on top and gently and lightly roll the mixture into the dough
Bake at 375f for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and try lifting an edge – it should be firm with just a little give – if not, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes
Let cool slightly – cut wedges or squares out of the baked sheet
3 – Roll the dough to 1/8″ thickness and cut strips that are about 2″ wide
Using a teaspoon, spoon the mixture in a row in the middle of the strip
Wet one long side, fold the other side onto it and crimp to seal the edges
Using a sharp knife, cut the log in a swift motion into 1 or 2″ pieces, transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet
Bake at 375f for 15 – 20 minutes
4 – Add a boiled mashed potato to the cooked smoked salmon mixture
Using your hands, form 2″ diameter rounds, about 1/4″ thick (basically salmon cakes)
Set up a breading station – seasoned flour, beaten egg, and seasoned panko (seasonings include garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne powder etc.)
Heat about 1/4″ oil in a frying pan
Dip the salmon cakes into the flour, shake off the excess, then the egg, then the panko – and fry until golden brown, drain on paper towels – best served warm, but even the next day these taste great

These treats don’t need any type of condiments, they are delicious warm or at room temperature. You can freeze them once baked or fried. Simply store in an airtight container with solid edges, pastry is fragile, so best you put it in a plastic container – thaw to room temperature before warming up in an oven – 300f for 10 minutes.
As always – enjoy!

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