By Chef Lippe
There is nothing better than a good cheese crisp, baked cheese, or what ever you choose to call them, you know the cheese that leaks out onto the baking pan when you make a grilled cheese. You can eat them plain, you can mix them with spices or you can even dip them in chocolate. They make a wonderful base for many canapes and tapas. This one is one of my favorites.
2 teaspoons crème fraiche
(To make your own get a mail-order a creme fraiche culture from The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, P.O. Box 85, Ashfield, MA 01330, (413) 628-3808 and follow their directions. To make your own that is close to the original see end of blog.
Finely grated zest of one lemon
Fennel seeds, chopped
Grated and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to serve
1/2 small fennel bulb
1/3 cup hot smoked salmon, flaked
Salt and black pepper
For the Crisps:
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated (do extra because you will eat half as they come out of the oven)
1 tbsp plain flour (optional)
How to make Parmigiano Reggiano Canapés with Hot Smoked Salmon
1. Grease and line a large baking sheet with grease proof paper.
2. Mix Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and plain flour, along with a good pinch of black pepper.
3. Spoon teaspoon-sized rounds of this mixture onto the baking sheet and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon. The mixture should give ten crisps, make sure there is plenty of space between each one, as the mixture will spread a little.
4. Place the rounds under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted to make a golden brown crisp. Remove each crisp carefully using a pallet knife and leave to cool on greaseproof paper. You can also bake them for 10 minutes at 350.
5. Mix crème fraiche together with lemon zest and season to taste. To assemble, spoon a small amount of lemon crème fraiche on top of each crisp. Then sprinkle with a few fennel seeds, grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and finely chopped fennel, before topping with flakes of hot smoked salmon and black pepper.
6. Finally, garnish with sprigs of fresh fennel and serve.
1 to 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk
2 cups heavy cream (pasteurized, not ultra pasteurized or sterilized, and with no additives)
Combine the buttermilk and cream in a saucepan and heat only to tepid (not more than 85 degrees on an instant reading thermometer). Pour into a clean glass jar. Partially cover and let stand at room temperature (between 65 and 75 degrees) for 8 to 24 hours, or until thickened. Stir and refrigerate at least 24 hours before using. The cream will keep about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.