I used to take this great photography class at Cooper Union whereby the instructor, Eric Feinblatt, would throw out a word a week and our challenge was to go out and shoot our interpretation of that word. The work presented by the students was extraordinary; filled with creativity, thought-provoking approaches and enough conversation and critique to fill each class. You were inspired to push yourself beyond the expected.
I took this approach when I stumbled upon this image. I loved the way the food was styled, shot and presented; so I decided to reverse engineer this process by concocting a recipe to go with the photo. While I am not a food photographer, and this photo is definitely better than mine, I have to say this dish tasted as good as the original shot looked.
Salmon Tobiko Rolls
4 oz - 8 oz of smoked Scottish Salmon*
4 tablespoons of creme fraiche
2tablespoons of whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons of tobiko caviar (fish roe)
1teaspoon of fresh, finely chopped chives
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup of mixed greens
2-4 tablespoons of fresh Malossol American Keta Salmon Caviar
*Note: This recipe provides enough of the creme fresh mixture for 8 rolls. 4 oz of smoked salmon makes 4 rolls, 8 oz = 8 rolls.
1. In a small bowl, blend together creme fraiche and whipped cream until smooth. I did this by hand. Mix in chopped chives. Add pepper to taste. Next carefully fold in the tobiko caviar. Set aside.
2. Take out your serving dish. For each roll you are making, place 2-3 pieces of washed and dried mixed greens on the serving dish or platter. Try to get mixed greens with interesting shapes and varying color. Set aside.
3. On a large cutting board, remove the salmon from the package and carefully separate the slices. Place one slice on a cutting board. Cut lengthwise to long strips about 1 1/2 inches wide, 4 inches tall.
4. With a spoon, take the creme fraiche mixture and run a thin strip down the length of the salmon strip. Not too much or the mixture will ooze out as you roll each strip. All you want to do is have enough so the salmon sticks to the mixture when you roll it. Do this to all 4 (or 8) slices. Set aside without rolling just yet. Be sure to leave 4-8 teaspoons of the mixture left over top each salmon roll.
5. Next take your serving plate(s) with the greens. Take one salmon strip and slowly roll the strip. Try to leave the top end of each salmon roll with an opening. Take the salmon roll and place on top of the pile of greens. Push down so the salmon roll firmly rests on the greens and will not roll over. Repeat this will all salmon strips, placing each roll on top of the greens.
6. The final touch: Place a dollop of the creme fraiche mixture (1 heaping teaspoon) on top of the center of each salmon roll. There should be a nice hole to fill in. After you have done this to all of the rolls, take the Keta Salmon caviar and carefully add 1/2 teaspoon to top off each salmon roll. Serve with thinly sliced toasted baguette slices or toast points.
While delicious, this is a bit rich, so 2-4 rolls per person with coffee, or a glass of champagne or white wine is quite satisfying. The total served depends on your appetite and/or if you are serving this as an appetizer, a midnight snack or for brunch.
An alternate recipe for same ingredients: Spread the creme fraiche tobiko mixture over toast points. Top with slices of smoked salmon, add fresh cracked pepper, a dollop of the creme fraiche mixture with some Keta Salmon Caviar, and squirt with some fresh lemon juice.