On to savory with salmon pops

By Jim Bailey

know, I know. … Another lollipop! But it really wasn’t the lollipop theme that had me hooked. It was the fact salmon was on sale, so being a Yankee … Well, you know the rest. Salmon has been and always will be an integral part of our New England heritage, even though we don’t treat ourselves to it as much as our ancestors did. So allow me to show you how to enjoy this esteemed, delightfully briny treat a couple of different ways.

Simple salmon says…

Many people stay away from salmon because they don’t know how to prepare it. For this dish, I am thinking special occasion: maybe that special gathering or an intimate dinner for two. Salmon Lollipops would be a great appetizer for the Salmon Puff Bowls as the main course actually. Too much salmon you say? Substitute crab in the second recipe.

Salmon Lollipops

1 sheet frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
12 oz. smoked salmon, cut into 1 x 1-inch chunks
1/4 c. sliced green onion
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper

Salmon pops as an appetizer.

Salmon pops as an appetizer.

Cut 3 x 3-inch squares of puff pastry. Season salmon with salt and pepper, a pinch of sliced green onion and a pinch of Parmesan cheese. Add a chunk of salmon in the middle of each square and bring up the four corners to form a lollipop, pinching it around the salmon tightly. Place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet with gathered sides facing up. Bake 15 minutes or until well-browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly to handle. Take wooden or metal skewers and push the pointed end into the end that was facing up, pushing in only enough to hold. To serve, place the lollipops in a decorative container, such as a tall parfait glass that has 2 to 3 inches of sea salt or large crystallized salt in the bottom.  (An alternative for making the pastry is to cut two 4- to 5-inch strips of puff pastry and lay them cross-wise, one on top of the another. Lay your chunk of salmon at the intersection and bring up the ends to the skewer and pinch. Bake as directed above.)

Salmon or crab puff bowls

New England Puff Bowls

Crab can be substituted for the salmon if desired.
2 puff pastry bowls, directions below
1/2 c. apple jelly
1/2 c. heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. fully cooked salmon chunks or 1 can (7-1/2 oz.) salmon, drained, bones and skin removed
1 T. chopped chives or green onions

Thaw one sheet of puff pastry dough. (You can refreeze remainder of unused puff pastry dough if wrapped tightly). Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Cut four 5-inch circles with the rim of a glass, tumbler or cookie cutter. With another circular cutter that is 1-inch smaller, cut 2 of the circles again to make 2 rings. Dipping your fingers in water or using a pastry brush, rub some water around the edge of two of the uncut circles. Lay the two dough rings on top of the water rubbed circles. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and lightly flour, shaking off excess. Place the two prepared puff pastry bowls on the cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes, or until well-browned and risen. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, heat the jelly in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking, until completely melted. Add cream, whisking the jelly into cream thoroughly. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes, or until slightly more thickened and creamy. Stir in salmon and heat through, salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into pastry shells, top with chopped chives or green onions and serve immediately. Yield: 2 servings.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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