Smoked Salmon & Chive Potato Pancakes with Horseradish Cream

Stunning smoked salmon and chive potato pancakes from The Good Cook book. The recipe calls for the delicious accompaniment of peppery horseradish cream.

The Good Cook
From the book The Good Cook
Simon Hopkinson
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Introduction

I love these dear little beauties. Granted, they can be a little bit tricky to make first time round, but once you have the knack they are fun to do. And very delicious to boot – or there wouldn’t be much point, would there? You will need to make some clarified butter for cooking the pancakes. This is simple (and useful to have around anyway) and fashioned thus: Melt a packet of unsalted butter. Skim off the froth with a spoon. Carefully pour out the clear butter – which lies beneath the froth and the milky residue below – into a bowl, while leaving the milky stuff behind. Discard both froth and residue. Voilà, clarified butter. The leftover butter should be poured into a small pot, covered and kept in the fridge for another day. It will keep for 2-3 weeks. Or freeze it, of course.

Serves 4 as a first course

Ingredients

For the horseradish cream:
2 tbsp horseradish base recipe (see ingredients and method below)
100ml double cream
For the smoked salmon filling:
125g smoked salmon (offcuts are fine, here)
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
2 tbsp soured cream
A little freshly ground pepper
For the potato pancake batter:
300g potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
40ml milk
40g plain flour, sieved
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1½ tbsp double cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tbsp clarified butter, for frying (see below)

Essential kit

You will need a mouli-légumes (or a potato ricer) and a food processor.

Instructions

To make the horseradish base recipe, you'll need 200g of horseradish root, peeled and finely grated by hand; 2-3 tbsp of water; 5 tbsp lemon juice; 2 tsp Maldon salt and 1½ tbsp caster sugar. Put everything into a food processor and grind until smoothish. Decant the mixture into a sealable jar and store in the fridge until needed. For this recipe, you'll need to use 2 tbsp.

To make the horseradish cream, simply whisk the horseradish base and cream together until thickened.

For the filling, finely chop the smoked salmon and, in a small bowl, mix together with the chives, soured cream and pepper. Put into the fridge to keep cool, but remove about 10 minutes before you begin to make the pancakes.

For the pancakes, preferably steam the potatoes (or boil carefully, drain and allow to dry out over a low heat for a few minutes). While they are still hot, put them through a mouli-légumes (or a potato ricer) on the finest setting. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Now beat in the milk, flour, eggs, egg whites, cream and seasoning.

Preheat an overhead grill. Gently heat a little of the clarified butter in a large-ish, preferably non-stick frying pan. Pour in 4 tablespoons of batter, with a decent space between them. Once there is a pale browning at the edges of the pancakes and a few tiny bubbles on the surface – this will take about 30 seconds – spoon a little of the smoked salmon mixture into the middle of each pancake and only just push it into the surface. Now, carefully add a little more batter, but only enough to cover the salmon completely. Immediately, place the pan under the grill for 20-30 seconds or so, to set the surface; the texture should be slightly springy to the touch, but still moist within.

Remove from the grill and quickly flip the pancakes over with a palette knife on to a warm plate. Keep them warm while you make another 4 pancakes. If you like, brush them with a little clarified butter before topping each one with a teaspoon of the horseradish cream.

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