Smoked Salmon Cocktail Crêpes
- 5 Ounce hot-smoked salmon, skinned and flaked into small pieces
- 4 versatile crêpes (see recipe below)
- pinch of cayenne pepper, or dash of hot pepper sauce
- kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus tiny sprigs for garnish
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
- 0.375 cup mascarpone
- 4 Ounce cream cheese, at room temperature
Put the salmon, cream cheese, and mascarpone in a small, shallow bowl and mash them together with a fork until just combined. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and dill and season well with salt and cayenne. Mash again until well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning to balance the filling nicely.
Lay a crêpe presentation-side down on a clean work surface and gently spread with one-quarter of the filling, taking care not to rip the crêpe as you spread. Neatly roll the crêpe into a tight cylinder, and then transfer it to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining crêpes and filling.
Wrap the plate of crêpes in plastic and refrigerate until the filling is firm, at least 30 minutes or up 8 hours.
When ready to serve, cut each crêpe crosswise on the bias into bite-sized pieces, so that one side of each piece is flat and the other side is angled. Arrange the crêpes on a serving tray or platter so they’re standing on the flat side, with the angled side pointing up, and garnish each piece with a small sprig of dill. Serve chilled.
- 1.5 cup all-purpose flour
- 0.5 tsp kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1.75 cup whole milk
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (preferably brown butter), plus regular unsalted butter for the pan
Put 1 3/4 cup/420 ml of the milk, the eggs, and salt into a blender. Whiz for a few seconds to blend everything together. Remove the lid and add the flour. Cover and blend until very smooth, about 20 seconds. Remove the lid, pour in the melted butter, cover, and whiz until combined, 10 seconds more.
Transfer the batter to a large glass measuring cup with a spout (or a bowl that’s large enough to easily dip a 1/4 cup/60 ml measuring cup into). Let the batter rest for at least 5 minutes and up to 24 hours. (If resting for more than 30 minutes, store in the fridge.) When you’re ready to make the crêpes, test the batter’s consistency; it should be as thick as heavy cream but not as thick as pancake batter. If it feels too thick, whisk in up to 1/2 cup/120 ml more of the remaining milk.
Heat an 8-inch/20-cm crêpe pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle upon contact. Using a folded paper towel, spread about 1/2 teaspoon of butter around the interior of the pan. The butter should sizzle upon contact, but not instantly turn brown. You don’t want the pan to be so hot that the butter burns.
Pour about 1/4 cup/60 ml of the batter into the center of the pan, and at the same time lift the pan from the heat, tilting and turning it in all directions so the batter spreads evenly across the bottom of the pan in a thin circle. If the crêpe has any holes in it, quickly add a few drops of batter to fill them in. Or, if you have too much batter and the crêpe looks too thick, immediately pour the excess back into the measuring cup or bowl of batter. You can always trim off the "tail" that’s left behind later.
Cook the crêpe until the edges begin to dry and lift from the sides of the pan, and the bottom is nicely browned, about 1 minute. To check for color, use a table knife, slim off-set spatula, or your fingers to lift up an edge of the crêpe and look underneath. When the first side is ready, use the knife, spatula, or your fingers to lift the crêpe and quickly flip it over. Smooth out any folded edges or pleats and then cook until the center is firm and the second side is browned, too, about 20 seconds more. The first side is almost always much prettier and more evenly browned (in these recipes, we’ll call it the presentation side), while the second side tends to be more spotty.
Slide the crêpe from the pan onto a large plate or cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat and wiping the pan with more butter as you cook. You can stack the crêpes on the plate as they’re done. If you’re going to store them in the freezer, lay pieces of waxed or parchment paper between them so they don’t stick together. To keep in the fridge, just stack them neatly; no need for the paper separators. (Keep the stacks small if you usually cook for a few people, or make the stack larger if you find yourself cooking for a crowd most nights.) The crêpes will soften as they cool.
To store, wrap the stack in plastic wrap, and then slide it into a large zip-top freezer bag. The crêpes will keep in the fridge like this for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. To thaw, let the stack sit at room temperature until the crêpes are pliable, about an hour, and then peel them apart and proceed with your recipe.
Smoked Salmon Cocktail Crêpes with Cucumbers: Serve the cocktail crêpes on thin slices of unpeeled cucumber for textural contrast
Smoked Trout Cocktail Crêpes: Substitute smoked trout for the hot-smoked salmon, and add 1 tsp of prepared horseradish to the filling.
Smoked Salmon and Caper Cocktail Crêpes: Add 1 tbsp of chopped capers to the filling.
Spicy Smoked Salmon Cocktail Crêpes: Add 1 tbsp of chopped chiles in oil to the filling.
Lillet Smoked Salmon Cocktail Crêpes: Substitute orange zest and juice for the lemon zest and juice, and add 1 tbsp of white Lillet (Blanc) to the filling.
Recipe courtesy of Crêpes: 50 Savory and Sweet Recipes by Martha Holmberg/Chronicle Books, 2012.