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Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese is the perfect appetiser or canapé when you are entertaining. Naturally gluten-free, very easy to prepare and always impressive.
When we were young our whole family would gather at my aunt’s house on Christmas morning for a quick hello, present exchange and glass of Buck’s Fizz. There would be a crowd of us of every age range, greeting grannies, clutching presents and dressed in our Christmas finery. Plates of small squares of brown bread, barely buttered, and adorned with wafer thin slices of lemony smoked salmon would make their way across the room, swiped by eager fingers. This is how I first experienced smoked salmon and is the measure of any Christmas canapé I’ve had since, made even more delicious by the rose tinted nostalgia.
So every Christmas I also serve smoked salmon to my small gathering. I don’t eat the brown bread anymore but have replaced it with the most light and fluffy potato pancakes. Naturally gluten-free, made with mashed potato, potato flour and eggs. They are incredibly easy to whip up on Christmas morning but you can also make them a couple of days in advance and just warm them up in the oven to refresh them. Although do serve them at room temperature as you don’t want the cream cheese to melt.
Speaking of cream cheese, I feel it’s an utterly necessary accompaniment to my smoked salmon these days. Whipped up with crème fraiche, a spritz of fresh lemon and slathered thickly onto the pancakes, it’s the ideal cool backdrop to the delicate salmon. However, instead of the restrained slice of smoked salmon we used to have on our bread years ago, I like to pile these potato pancakes high so they look beautifully impressive. One or two of these pancakes per person will be plenty.
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Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese
- 300 g peeled potatoes - quartered
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 50 g potato flour
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives + extra to sprinkle
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ghee - or butter
- 300 g smoked salmon
Whipped Cream Cheese
- 200 g cream cheese
- 100 g crème fraiche
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- Place the peeled potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and bring up to a boil. Turn down to simmer for 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are quite soft.
- Remove from the heat and drain. Mash the potatoes with a pinch of salt and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
- Mix the cooled mashed potato in a large bowl with the eggs, egg whites, potato flour, chives and salt and pepper and beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Place a cast iron pan or large griddle on a low heat and melt the ghee or butter.
- Drop a heaped dessert spoon of the potato batter into the pan, smoothing out a little so it makes an even circle. You should be able to fit four of these potato pancakes in the pan, depending on its size.
- Cook the pancakes for 3-4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another couple of minutes on the second. Remove the pancakes from the pan and pat dry with kitchen paper to remove the excess butter.
- Cook the rest of the pancakes in batches until all the batter has been used up.
- Set the pancakes to one side whilst you prepare the whipped cream cheese.
- Beat together the cream cheese, crème fraiche, lemon juice and salt until light and creamy.
- Spoon the cream cheese onto each pancake, smoothing into a slight swirl, then pile high with smoked salmon. Garnish with snipped chives, a squeeze of lemon and plenty of cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.