As Spring struggles to make her presence felt in my part of the world, I am reminded that we are teetering on the edge of another ‘silly’ season, the time of year in Australia where we dust off the barbecue, fluff up the outdoor cushions and prepare for summer.
As this is the week for the ‘Give a Fork’ responsible consumption of seafood, I thought I would share this tried and trusted recipe to make a packet of smoked salmon (or even better, trout) go a long way. It’s really simple, just a few staple ingredients and will see you through many a cocktail party, race day and Christmas drinks get-together. The dill scones are not a mandatory accompaniment, any good quality cracker or toasted bread will also be delicious, but these bite size pillows, warm and fragrant with herbs and sea salt will be your friends for years to come…
250g plain flour
pinch sea salt plus a little extra to sprinkle on top
2 tsp baking powder
large handful of fresh dill/parsley/chives (or any combination – finely chopped)
1 egg beaten (for glazing)
Put flour, baking powder, dill and salt into the bowl of a food processor or Thermomix and process briefly until mixed. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the bowl – process for 5-7 seconds until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then, with the machine running, pour the milk through the feed tube and process for approx 10 seconds until a sticky mixture forms. Don’t overwork at this stage.
Remove from the bowl and knead lightly on a floured surface to approx ½” thick. Cut into desired shapes (I’ve used my new favourite square cutter). Place scones on a greased or lined baking tray, brush with beaten egg, and bake in a hot 220°C, 425°F for 8 – 10 minutes or until well risen and browned. Best served warm if possible, or you can put them into a moderate oven for a few minutes to re-heat. Fear not, if you’re taking them to a picnic or race-track car park, they’re just as good cold!
Smoked Salmon Mousse
100g Australian smoked salmon, smoked ocean trout or smoked trout
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
3-4 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
handful of chives, dill, parsley or a combination
juice and zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon horseradish cream (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients together in a food processor or Thermomix until a smooth and fluffy, scraping down as necessary. Refrigerate until needed. Serve with herb scones, crackers or toasted sourdough bread.