Aaaahhh, the month of love… I am at a loss for words. I think it’s obvious that some of us are looking forward, some are dreading it, and some have mixed emotions about it that will probably become more lucid depending on what pans out for them on the day. I’m rather apprehensive myself. It’s a day that should be celebrated with loving sentiment all-round, but sometimes our expectations put a hamper on our ability to give out love, because we are so busy agonising about what we are going to receive. Surely what we do for others should not be be contingent on what they do for us? So my advice would be to not care about whether you have met the great love of your life yet – you don’t need to be worrying about whether somebody is there for you, but rather consider who it is you can spread some love to! And what better way to spread the love than to spread some delicious cream cheese over a few gloriously crispy-fried potato skins to feed your loved ones?!!
So, my gift to you this Valentine’s Day – prepare this gorgeous salmon canapé for a gorgeous bunch of people. It is my little hybrid recipe of salmon roses and potato skins, and its SO EASY to make – even though it looks really sophisticated! I’ve also attached a few pictures of inspiration for table-settings. I like the idea of placing single roses in open jars all along the table, with a few candles dispersed when it gets closer to the evening. ‘Rustic’ is my favourite go-to theme when entertaining multi-faceted crowds. It appeals to everybody, and it is the most effortless to pull off. Above all, don’t forget to have fun and to love yourself! 🙂
- 3 medium-sized potatoes, washed thoroughly with skins on
- Cream cheese (I used a cream cheese with a sweet chilli flavour)
- 100g (thin) smoked salmon fillet
- A handful of baby herb leaves – anything like baby watercress or rocket will do
- Avocado oil (about 3-4 tbsp to fry the potatoes in)
- Salt & pepper to season
- Place the whole potatoes to boil on the stove for about 10-15 minutes.
- While that’s getting done, prep your smoked salmon by cutting strips of salmon about 1.5 cm in width, and 8 cm long. Do not worry about cutting the strips too straight – you want to get the edges of your salmon roses to look frilly like rose petals! Cut about 12-15 strips (you may not need to use all of the salmon, in which case I really suggest you have the remaining bit on scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast the next morning).
- Remove your potatoes from the boiling water once they are about 7/8 of the way cooked. If it’s too soft, it’s going to be difficult to cut neatly, but if it’s still too hard, then you are going to end up with crunchy potatoes which is also not ideal. Hold the potatoes in a strainer under some cold water for a minute or two to cool them off for easy handling.
- Cut the potatoes into 1 cm thick slices. You should get about 4 or 5 slices, depending on the size of your potatoes. Season your potatoes with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.
- Heat up the avocado oil in a non-stick pan to 180° C. Fry the potato skin slices for 4 minutes on the one side, then turn over and fry for about 2 minutes on the other. They should get nice and crisp and golden. Be careful with avocado oil as it has a high smoking point, and you don’t want to get startled if the potatoes crackle and pop when you put them into the pan! Use a spatula to place the potatoes in, if you’re afraid of getting hot oil on you.
- Remove the potatoes from the pan and let them cool, uncovered for an hour before you do anything else. Once the potatoes are completely cooled, spread on a generous helping of your favourite flavour of cream cheese.
- Arrange baby herb leaves (as depicted) on to the cream cheese. You can even use slices of baby rosa tomatoes if you wish!
- Roll up your salmon strips into little roses and place them onto the herb leaves. “Fluff” the top edges of the petals outward with your thumb and index fingers to make them resemble rose petals in bloom. Hold the bottoms down with your other hand so that they don’t open out while you’re doing this, being careful not to touch the cream cheese below.
It may take a lot of waiting-time for this recipe, but preparation is minimal. There are many endless possibilities for adjusting this recipe. You can even top your roses up with some caviar, if you like. Whatever the case, I hope you have fun with it, and I sincerely wish that you enjoy the roses as much as I do.
Wishing you a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ and sending you all my love,