It is a hot, balmy evening and friends are coming over for cocktails to cool off. Your delectable concoctions are placed in the fridge to chill and now its time to decide on appetizers. The heat in the kitchen is acting as a deterrent and the market is not an option as you want to show off your culinary skills to impress your guests. What you need is a simple, yet elegant appetizer that you can execute with aplomb.
During my many trips abroad, I had eaten wontons in mostly Chinese or Japanese restaurants. I wanted to work with the wontons but with a difference. One evening, I found smoked salmon lying in my freezer and that is when this idea came to me like an epiphany; Smoked salmon wontons. Most wontons are like dumplings, closed from all corners, so here was my dilemma, how to exude the vibrant pink color of the salmon without ruining the beauty of the appetizer? With the idea of an open faced smoked salmon bagel racing across my mind, I decided to experiment with wonton baskets. The final dish was a success; in taste and looks.
- Wonton wrappers
- Smoked salmon
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 150 ml cream
- 2 tsp wasabi paste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Handful of fresh dill
- Place the wonton wrappers in a mini muffin or cupcake tray. (Note: The size of the cupcake or muffin holders should be small to prevent the wrappers from spreading; the wrappers should be bunched up to resemble a small basket)
- Spray, slightly, with oil or if no oil spray is available, paint a small amount of oil onto the wrappers before placing them on the tray
- Place in the oven for 5 minutes or less till they become crisp and brown
- While the baskets are cooling, mix the cream cheese and cream in a bowl till smooth paste forms
- Add the lemon juice, wasabi paste and salt and stir till the ingredients are mixed together
- Sprinkle a generous amount of fresh dill and give it a final stir
- Refrigerate the mixture till its time to serve (Make sure to fill the baskets right before serving to prevent the bottom from getting soggy)
- Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture into the baskets and top with a thin layer of smoked salmon
- Garnish with a sprinkle of dill
Thrill your guests with the strong yet subtle flavor of this grand looking appetizer. The wasabi adds that extra kick to the taste which enhances the flavor of the smoked salmon. You can add or reduce the amount of wasabi paste depending on your appetite for its smoke-alarm after effects. For me, more wasabi means a multitude of flavors giving my palette a much needed jolt.