Its time to be honest here. Creativity? Oh, I do wish! Planning ahead? Likewise. Allowing enough time before a big event to drop back and punt? In another life. But this time, for once, it all worked just like in my dream!
So, it was time for our Gourmet Dinner Club to get together for food, wine and a bunch o’ fun. C and J planned this cooking party thing (very brave, VERY brave!) and each of the other couples brought appetizers to nibble on while we cooked. Let’s see here, Spring … asparagus, salmon … something light. Found a perfect recipe for these little lovelies here.
But then it got dangerous …. I got thinking. Presentation. This is not my forte, and I know that Ron and Sandi who got us started on this whole adventure really pride themselves on presentation with their group. After a bit of tossing ideas around in my mind, I came up with the perfect plan: put the salmon rolls on a fake plant! Haha! Actually, these little tasty morsels look just like little spring buds just as I anticipated. Although I’m not sure which was funnier: the look on my husband’s face when I finished putting it together and declaring it perfect, or when I walked through the door at our friend’s house and they realized the potted plant I was carrying WAS the appetizer! Regardless how you present it, this is a great little make ahead winner!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
- 3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), room temperature
- 1/4 cup trimmed peeled chopped raw asparagus
- 1/2 teaspoon minced lemon peel
- 6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
Heat olive oil in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add chopped shallot and sauté until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in goat cheese, chopped asparagus, and lemon peel. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper.
Place sheet of plastic wrap on work surface. Using 1/5 of salmon, form 6×3-inch rectangle atop plastic, overlapping salmon slightly. Spoon 1/5 of filling along 1 long side of rectangle, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Using plastic as aid, roll up salmon into tight log. Repeat with remaining salmon and filling, forming 4 more logs. Refrigerate logs until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
Remove plastic from logs. Cut each log crosswise into 4 pieces.
- The asparagus was FRESH from TK’s Best farm stand. (Just had to brag on that!)
- Don’t know if this is in the new Trader Joe’s cook book, but it should be.
- The fake plant was picked up at Home Goods. That store is my total addiction.
- The stakes holding the salmon rolls are just those little metal stakes covered with floral tape from Michaels. I just twisted them around a screwdriver to create an itty bitty ledge so the salmon rolls wouldn’t slowly slide down the stakes during the evening.