While I was growing up in New York, every Sunday morning was dedicated to a fine Jewish-American tradition: the bagel store. My dad and I would wander over, up Second Avenue, and I would order mini poppy seed bagels, veggie cream cheese, and "Nova, please, very thinly sliced."
To capitalize on this tradition for Hanukkah, I decided to dress up that every-Sunday smoked salmon for company. Because Hanukkah is all about frying in oil—oil that burns for eight nights instead of one—my canapé canvas would be potato chips, and upon that I would build my bagel. Instead of cream cheese, I use fromage blanc, which has a similar tang but a creamier texture, but you could certainly use cream cheese thinned with a touch of cream. From the smoked salmon, I make an elegant tartare mixed with the capers, onions, and lemon that so often decorate and flavor smoked salmon platters. For the potato chips, I use Terra Potpourri, which includes hues of white, red, blue, and orange. The colors make for an entertaining and special backdrop, but any hearty, gourmet potato chip will do. To top it all off, if desired, sprinkle a touch of poppy seeds to bring the elegant canapé back down to Sunday morning status.
These little two-bite wonders are crisp and briny, countered with the cool creaminess of the fromage blanc and the parsley. They provide the perfect avenue for elevating the everyday to the holiday.
- 6 ounces smoked salmon, cut into a very small dice
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons capers, chopped
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (almost 1 whole lemon)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 40 chives, snipped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup fromage blanc
- 1 5-ounce bag of gourmet potato chips (recommended: Terra Potpourri)
- Poppy seeds, as an optional garnish
Combined the salmon, shallot, olive oil, mustard, capers, lemon zest and juice, and pepper in a small bowl.
In another small bowl, combine the fromage blanc, parsley, and chives.
Arrange the chips on a platter, and spoon a small amount of herbed fromage blanc on each chip. Arrange a small amount of smoked salmon tartare on top, and serve with, if you like, a touch of poppy seeds sprinkled on top.