CREAM CHEESE MINI-PANCAKES WITH SMOKED SALMON

Remember our Nobel Reception that happened a few months ago? I still have a few items from that event to share with you, as cooking goes by at a fast pace in the Bewitching Kitchen, but blogging takes a little longer. Good thing my readers seem to be quite patient…  Lucky blogger, yes I am.  These mini-pancakes were a big hit at the party. I’d say of all the things I prepared, they were the most involved, but quite a fun project to tackle.  I found the recipe during a session of Pinterest hopping on the week before our get-together, and the decision to make them happened in 3.8 seconds. A phrase that sums me up well: I am hip about time (be ready for a quiz).

MiniPancakes

CREAM CHEESE MINI-PANCAKES WITH SMOKED SALMON
(from Evil Shenanigans)

For the pancakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
1 ounce cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
8 ounces cold smoked salmon
Freshly chopped chives, for garnish

For the sour cream sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon horseradish
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and chives. In a small bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the egg and whisk until completely incorporated.  Whisk in the milk.Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until just incorporated and no large lumps remain.  Do not over-mix.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Spray lightly with non-stick spray then scoop the batter by the tablespoon into the pan.  Cook for one minute on the first side, flip, then cook for an additional thirty seconds, or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when gently pressed in the center.  Remove to a plate to cool while you prepare the rest.

While the cakes cool prepare the sour cream sauce by adding the sour cream, horseradish and salt to a small bowl.  Whisk to combine then let stand ten minutes.

To prepare, spoon a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of the sauce onto the center of the cakes.  Top with a piece of the salmon.  Garnish with the chives.  These can be assembled up to one hour in advance.  Serve at room temperature.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

compositepancakes

Comments: There’s something to be said about practicing recipes before a big event, however, it’s not always possible. Still, a recipe such as this makes me admire caterers, because small details are so important in that business. If I had to make these again, I would try to make each pancake a little smaller. They puffed up more than I expected, so in the end my appetizers were a tiny bit too big.  I was so involved in frying them that I did not realize the problem until it was time to assemble the sour cream topping and the salmon. So, if you make them for your next dinner or cocktail party, run a little test, fry different portions and settle on the amount that will be perfect for your topping. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to smoked salmon, but let’s face it: it’s a classic topping with the dill and all.  Capers would feel totally at home also…  just sayin’….

PancakesReady
You can make these pancakes ahead of time, and I am sure they freeze well too with all the cream cheese in the batter.  I think a salmon mousse would be superb topping these babies, with a sprinkle of fresh dill all over. Come to think of it, I’ve never made salmon mousse. Once, years and years ago, before my blogging life, I made a fish mousseline that shaved a few years off my life.  It was a recipe from a special cookbook I own, one written by Vincent Price. The recipes are amazing, but soooo involved and complicated. That fish mousse tasted wonderful but  hell will have to freeze over three times before I attempted it again.  These pancakes?  A walk at the beach by comparison… try them and you will not be disappointed!

And now it’s time for the quiz… do you know which movie the expression “I’m hip about time” comes from?  It’s as much of a classic as smoked salmon on a horseradish cream with dill and capers….

😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Our Green Trip to Colorado

TWO YEARS AGO: Ditalini Pasta Salad

THREE YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with a Thai Seafood Curry

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Post-workout Breakfast

FIVE YEARS AGO: Semolina Barbecue Buns

SIX YEARS AGO: Lavash Crackers

THE MAKING OF A NOBEL RECEPTION

As I mentioned earlier, we hosted a very important event in our home: a reception to honor Dr. Randy Schekman, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. I actually have a little gift for my readers. If you want to listen to one of his seminars, click on this link. Randy opened this talk with amusing stories about his life and how he first became interested in science. This particular seminar was open to the public and will appeal to anyone. He is not only a great speaker, but also very personable. It was one of the best scientific visits we had in our department.

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Since the reception took place on a Monday evening, I could do most of the work in the weekend. Apart from store-bought items (crackers, cheeses,  charcuterie items, black olive tapenade, and fresh fruits), here is the list of what I prepared.

Cheddar Cheese Coins
(from America’s Test Kitchen)

Cream Cheese Mini-Pancakes with Dill Cream and Smoked Salmon
(from Evil Shenanigans)

Bacon-wrapped Dates stuffed with Parmigiano Cheese
(from Suzanne Goin)

Smoky Eggplant Dip
(from Fine Cooking)

Moroccan Carrot Dip 
(inspired by this recipe)

Herbed Overnight Focaccia
(adapted from Fine Cooking)

Warm Spiced Almonds
(from America’s Test Kitchen)

Meyer Lemon Baked Ricotta
(from Food Fanatic)

Chocolate Truffles
(from America’s Test Kitchen)

Fresh Strawberries with Cannoli Cream
(adapted from Baked Bree)

prep

I spread the preparation over the two preceding days, freezing focaccia (cut in squares), cheddar crackers, and mini-pancakes on Saturday.  That worked very well, I removed them all from the freezer at lunch time on Monday and refreshed them briefly in a 250 F oven a couple of hours before serving, or in the case of the mini-pancakes, before assembling them with the dill cream and the salmon. One hour before the reception started I baked the Bacon-wrapped dates and the Meyer Lemon Ricotta.

Saturday

Saturday afternoon… We are headed to the freezer!

 Of all things I made, the carrot dip was my favorite. I served it over cucumber slices and the contrast of colors and flavors was exactly what I aimed for.  A detailed report about this dish will be on the blog soon.  I also loved the baked ricotta, and the cheddar crackers.  The only disappointment was the smoky eggplant dip. That was the first time I had a Fine Cooking recipe fail me, and let’s say it was a major fail. I should have stuck with a regular hummus.  Oh, well…

Suzanne Goin’s bacon-wrapped dates: delicious! In fact one of the guests told Phil that he would like to stand by the platter and inhale them all as dinner.  They were a perfect mixture of sweet and savory, with the sharp bite on Parmigiano to crown it all.

Stay tuned for some Nobel Reception recipes coming soon to a food blog near you…

😉

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ONE YEAR AGO: Fennel Soup with Almonds and Mint 

TWO YEARS AGO: Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

THREE YEARS AGO: Farfalle with Zucchini and Ricotta

FOUR YEARS AGO: Slow-baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme

FIVE YEARS AGO: Hoisin Explosion Chicken