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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Salmon and Cream Cheese Crepe Appetizers

This is a fantastic little appetizer recipe that I got from my Mother-in-Law. It's a little finicky to make, but it is well worth the effort. The very worst part of this recipe is that I usually make it to bring somewhere, like a party, and then I only get to eat one. I've been telling myself for years that one of these days, I'm going to make this for no special occasion and then just sit down all by myself and eat my fill. This time I came close, I made this on the weekend because we had crepes for breakfast and I had leftovers. So, we had it for lunch and I got to eat THREE with some salad on the side.

A couple of little notes: (1) if you are a stickler for details and you count the layers of crepes in my photos, you will notice 8, that is because I was only making one stack and I had some extra crepes and fillings; (2) don't buy olives with pits, they are really hard to stab, even with the fancy little plastic toothpicks I splurged on just for the picture; (3) you can also make this with canned tuna instead of salmon; and (4) you can make the crepes up to a day ahead - wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge.

I won't go on too long about the recipe, because I took lots of pictures.....

Salmon and Cream Cheese Crepe Appetizers

1 cup flour
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp butter melted and cooled

Salmon Layer:
1 can salmon
1/4 cup mayo
1 tbsp chopped chives
pepper to taste

Cream Cheese Layer:
6 oz cream cheese (3/4 of an 8oz package - did I need to say that?)
2 tbsp mayo
4 slices bacon crumbled

1. Make Crepes: mix flour and salt. Add milk, eggs and butter. Beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes until very smooth. Let batter rest 30 minutes before making crepes.

2. You need to get 14 crepes out of this (well actually 15 because the first is ALWAYS crappy). So don't make them too big - aim for about 7". (a little less than 1/4 cup of batter per crepe).

3. Heat non-stick skillet and brush with a small amount of oil. Remove pan from heat, pour batter in middle all at once and twirl the pan with your wrist. Once spread, return pan to heat (you will get good at this with practice). Cook on the first side until the edges start to get golden. Flip and cook another minute on the second side. Make all the crepes, stacking them as you go. I don't usually need to oil the pan again, after the first crepe.

4. Once the crepes have cooled, trim them all to the same size. Make them about 6". The lid from a margarine container works perfectly, but you could also use a side plate.

5. After you are done trimming the crepes, make sure nobody else is around, and scarf down all the tasty little scraps. (You don't have to share these, you did all the hard work, so you deserve them!)

6. Make the salmon layer: In a small bowl, mash salmon with 1/4 cup mayo, chives and pepper. Make sure the salmon mixture has no lumps, it needs to be smooth and spreadable.

7. Make cream cheese layer: Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature. In a small bowl, mix with bacon and 2 tbsp mayo. Stir until smooth.

8. On a cutting board, lay out two crepes (the bottom layer of each of the two stacks). Spread 1/6 of the salmon on each. Place another crepe on top of each stack, spread 1/6 of the cream cheese. Continue, until you have two stacks of 7 crepes with alternating layers of salmon and cream cheese. I always save the two most attractive looking crepes for the top layers.

9. Wrap each stack in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour. Before serving, slice each stack into 12 wedges and garnish with olives or slices of pickle.