November 5, 2012 | Appetizers, Fish & Seafood
I’ve been catering quite a few dinner events lately, and it seems that every time I do, there is some leftover food that I’m trying to do something with – last week it was salmon. When cooking for 10, I buy the whole salmon filets, and if you’ve ever gotten them before they are trimmed, you’ll notice that the flesh tapers off on the belly side into a thin strip that is quite heavily marbled with fat and isn’t all that appealing to serve. So I trim that off to make nicer looking filets. But if you know me at all, you know I can’t just toss that food!My menu from last week’s event also included a simple green salad dressed with sherry vinaigrette and topped with a simple goat cheese crouton. I had some goat cheese left that I also wanted to use up, although you could easily use cream cheese for this recipe if that’s what you have on hand or if you don’t care for goat cheese (unimaginable to me!). To cook the “scraps” of salmon belly, all you need is a sprinkle of salt and pepper – the fat in the flesh (can you see it in the photo?) will keep it plenty moist. Simply bake uncovered for about 10 minutes until it’s cooked through and flakes.I had planned to use the spread for a food and wine pairing exercise I was doing, and I needed something kind of acidic for the exercise. So I flaked the fish when it was cool enough to handle, mixed it with the softened goat cheese (a few seconds in the microwave works well for this), lemon zest, garlic chives, salt, and pepper. So easy, and really no recipe required. You want about equal amounts of fish and cheese, but even this can be adjusted to your liking. Season to taste with your other ingredients and you have some fast but great party food for the coming holidays!