The Chef in the Hat

The Chef In The Hat is Thierry Rautureau, the talented force behind Loulay Kitchen & Bar and Luc restaurants, bringing a French twist to the best of Pacific Northwest cuisine.

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Green Onion and Chive Pancake with Cured Salmon and Crème Fraiche

As party season draws near, we created these small bite sized pancakes topped with house cured salmon to serve as either an appetizer, or as a plated first course. There are two recipes below, one for the pancake and one for curing your own salmon at home. Don't fret if you don't have a full day to prep your salmon, there are good store bought gravlox available (we recommend Gerard & Dominique). 

greenonionpancakegravlox

Green Onion and Chive Pancake 

Yields about 30 (2-3-inch pancakes)

For the batter:

  • 6 each green onions finely sliced, washed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cup flour
  • 2 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 whole eggs whisked
  • 8 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup finely sliced chives
  • 2 egg whites whisked to medium peaks

To garnish: 

  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche (or sour creme)
  • chives

Procedure

Drop the oil in a saute pan and cook the green onion at medium heat until tender. About 1 minute. Set aside and once cool press between paper towel to rid of excess moisture.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cumin. Then add whole eggs, milk, butter, chives and green onion. Use a fork to mix the batter. 

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. About 3 minutes using an electric mixer. Gently fold into the batter. 

To cook; melt 1 teaspoon of butter in a saute pan or on a griddle. Ladle the batter to the size of the pancake desired. Cook on first side until golden brown then flip on other side and cook until blond color is reached. 

To serve; place julienne cured salmon on top of the pancake and drizzle crème fraiche (or sour cream). Sprinkle chopped chive all over and enjoy. 


House Cured Wild Salmon 

Makes 1-1/2 to 2 pounds cured salmon

When preparing the herbs, it’s important that they be very dry. Rinse the herb leaves quickly in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towel before chopping. If you are unable to find lovage, you can use celery leaves instead.

  • 1 whole wild salmon fillet, (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), skin and pin bones removed
  • 1 ounce lovage leaves (about 1 cup moderately packed)
  • 1 ounce flat-leaf parsley leaves (about 1 cup moderately packed)
  • 1 ounce rosemary leaves (about 1/2 cup moderately packed)
  • 3/4 ounce fennel fronds (about 1/2 cup moderately packed)
  • 3/4 ounce sage leaves  (about 1/2 cup moderately packed)
  • 1/2 ounce basil leaves (about 1/2 cup moderately packed)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup spice mix of Ras el Hanout
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Procedure 

Trim an inch or two of the thin belly meat lengthwise from the salmon fillet, as this thin, fattier part of the salmon will not cure evenly with the leaner, thicker part of the flesh. (The belly meat can be saved for grilling or sautéing.) 

Also carefully trim away any of the darker gray flesh that lies just beneath the skin, so only the vivid orange salmon flesh remains.

Working with a few handfuls at a time, lay the herb leaves on a chopping board and coarsely chop them (avoid overchopping). 

Put the chopped herbs in a large bowl and add the sugar, salt, and Ras el Hanout spice mix, stirring to evenly mix.

Put one-quarter of the cure mixture in the bottom of a nonreactive 9 by 13-inch baking dish or other similar deep pan. Set the salmon skinned-side down on top of the cure. Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon and use your fingers to rub it evenly over the fish. 

Pour the remaining herb cure mixture evenly over and around the salmon fillet, using your clean, dry hands to press the mixture firmly onto the surface of the fish. Lay a piece or two of plastic wrap over the salmon to fully cover it and the surrounding cure, pressing it down into the dish, not pulled taut across the top edges. 

Set another, slightly smaller pan on top of the salmon so that it rests directly on the surface of the fish. Add heavy cans or other weights to the second pan (8 to 10 pounds’ worth), weighing it down to help extract excess liquid from the salmon and make sure that the curing process occurs evenly. 

Refrigerate for about 24 hours. (Don’t cure much longer or the salmon will become too salty.)

Scrape away the cure from the salmon, discarding the herbs and other seasonings. Thoroughly rinse the salmon under cold running water and dry well with paper towels. Refrigerate, wrapped, until needed. The cured salmon will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. Use a sharp, thin-bladed knife to cut the salmon into thin slices, beginning a few inches in from the tail end and slicing at a deep angle.

Thierry Rautureau 2016 ©
The Chef In The Hat