Smoked Salmon in Cornmeal Crepes

I got this crepe recipe from a cooknook called Santa Fe Recipes. The original used smoked trout and a cooked salsa, and I have made many variations from that starting point.  I almost always have smoked salmon in the freezer, and that is my favorite filling. But you can use almost any smoked fish. I’ve used several species of salmon, rainbow trout, steelhead, and a red trout we used to be able to get in New Mexico but haven’t seen since. I know smoked herring is popular in northern Europe )or at least some areas of it), but I’m not sure if that would work here. I can’t get herring to try it.

You can also use pretty much any salsa you like. I would stick with a tomatoe based one though – I most often use a fresh tomato salsa or pico de gallo. I will also include a recipe for that.

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Start with the fish.  This photo shows some salmon filets on my smoker grill, at the point they are about done. In the foreground are some coho filets, and the background are pink salmon.  These are from a fishing trip this summer out of Seward, Alaska. If you can’t do this, store-bought is fine. But PLEASE DO NOT use farmed salmon. It is very loaded with PCBs, and fish farming is not normally environmentally friendly.  Alaskan salmon is sustainably fished, as a general rule. But it is seasonal. Get it when you can, smoke it, and vacuum seal it and freeze it.

Please note that this is hot smoked salmon, which is NOT the same as lox, or what you find in those expensive flat packages of what looks like raw salmon in the store. That is a cold smoked and salt cured product. I love that stuff as well, but it will not work in this dish.

 

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Crepes

  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (2% is fine, whole is better)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil (canola is fine, it’s what I use)

Notes: For this you will ideally have a crepe pan (carbon steel, well seasoned), but an 8 inch nonstick skillet will also work. The original recipe calls for medium eggs, but I usually only have large. So I just pad the amount of cornmeal slightly. For the oil, use whatever you normally use for cooking, although I would avoid olive oil for this (its flavor may be too strong).

Place the cornmeal and flour in a medium bowl and mix. Add the two eggs and mix them in. Add the butter and salt and mix. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes to rest.

Place the oil in the pan and heat on low until pan and oil are warm. Pour out the oil and wipe with a paper towel so that there is a thin film of oil. left. Pour in two tablespoons of batter and roll the pan to spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Cook for about a minute and then flip. Cook second side for about 45 seconds and plate on a warm plate. The crepes should have a light brown speckle to them when properly done. Be careful not to overcook. After each crepe make sure there is a film of oil on the pan, and wipe on more as needed.

Salsa

  • 4 – 6 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 – 6 large green chiles, roasted and peeled (and diced)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (leave out the stems)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt to taste
  • splash of lemon or lime juice

The proportion of tomatoes to onion is not critical, but most people will prefer about a 2:1 ratio (2 cups tomato to 1 cup onion, for example). I just look at the piles on the cutting board and estimate.  You can adjust the amount of cilantro to taste as well. For me, the more the merrier. For chiles, fresh is best, if you can get them. Just roast over a grill, or under the broiler until they are well blistered, let cool, and peel., Then chop up. For large chiles, roughly one per tomato is a good place to start, but you can use slightly less if you prefer. If you can’t find gresh, use canned, but try to rinse out the chemical taste. In some place you may only find those little cans of diced chiles. For those, use two or three. A variation would be to substitute diced jalapeno chiles for the green chile. In this case you might want to also leave out the cumin. This form of salsa is called pico de gallo. Some grocery stores sell this in plastic tubs.

The photo of the crepes above actually shows them topped with pico de gallo rather than salsa (it was what I had at the time).

Once everything is chopped and diced, just toss it together in a large bowl and refrigerate for an hour or so to let the flavors blend.

Plating

Take a crepe and place some smoked salmon in the center. Optionally place a bit of salsa as well. Fold over and top with salsa or pico de gallo. Enjoy. These make nice appetizers, or several can be eaten as a main course.

 

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