Once upon a time not so long ago, in a place not so far away, a baby boy was born. His eyes were as blue as the sky and his hair had been kissed by the sun.
His mother, a very wise woman, knew the dangers of selecting only one godmother from among her friends, so she asked three of them to do that honor, and from that day forward they were called the three fairy godmothers.
Now, it's not very well known, but fairy godmothers are cursed with weaknesses as well as endowed with strengths. Among the three, two were blessed with culinary skills and the desire to enjoy foods of all varieties. One fairy godmother, while generous to a fault and possessed of many sterling qualities, was, well, a picky eater.
And so it happened, as it sometimes does, that when the three fairy godmothers bestowed gifts upon the baby boy, in a moment of confusion the child received the gift of -- picky eating.
Interestingly, the foods which the boy refuses to eat mirror the foods that his fairy godmother refuses to eat!
The baby is a charming young man now. And his mother likes to tell the tale of the time a teacher tried to explain to him that fairy godmothers don't exist. The frustrated teacher took the problem to the boy's mother. Imagine the teacher's surprise when she told him that her child had three fairy godmothers!
As is their want, the mother of the child and the three fairy godmothers came together to celebrate New Year's Eve. This fairy godmother, knowing that the boy's mother was fond of smoked salmon, procured it from her local fishmonger. But she didn't dare serve it in the presence of the picky eater fairy godmother.
The mother of the child had to take her leave of the festivities. And then the picky eater fairy godmother traveled many miles home. Unexpectedly, the mother of the child returned, bringing her son with her! The remaining two fairy godmothers were delighted to see him! Alas, due to the picky eating gift, the salmon still could not be served in his presence.
And so it was that this fairy godmother was left with a package of salmon that she would not let go to waste, and she concocted this recipe.
Crispy Potato Stacks with Smoked Salmon
and Caramelized Onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium onions
3 tablespoons champagne
pinch of thyme
1 - 2 cups chicken broth
Slice the onions quite thin. Over medium-low temperature, heat the butter with the olive oil and add the sliced onions. Cook until soft and translucent. Sprinkle with pinch of thyme and add the champagne. Add the chicken broth (1 cup if you want mostly onions, 2 cups if you want a bit of sauce). Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced.
Crispy Potato Stacks with Salmon
2 medium russet potatoes
2 ounces smoked salmon
7-8 teaspoons grated Gruyere
1 or 2 large frying pans or cast iron pans
1 potato ricer
1 potato grater
1 baking pan
salt to taste (if you have very salty salmon, you might want to omit salt)
Peel and grate the raw potatoes. Press the raw potatoes in the ricer to eliminate excess liquid.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in each pan at a temperature just below medium. When hot, scoop approximately 2 tablespoons of raw potato into your palm. Press into a circle about the size of your palm and flip into the frying pan. Repeat with all the raw potatoes.
Preheat oven to 350.
The potato rounds won't be very thick, so each side should only take about 4-5 minutes to cook. They should be golden brown.
Remove the cooked potatoes to a plate lined with a paper towel and dab with another paper towel to eliminate excess oil.
Each stack will contain 3 potato rounds. Begin the stack by placing potato rounds on the baking pan. On top of each potato round, add a thin slice of smoked salmon. Top the salmon with approximately 1 teaspoon of grated Gruyere.
Add another potato round. Top with salmon and Gruyere again. End the stack with one final potato round.
Bake in oven for about 8 minutes.
Serve with caramelized onions. Then hope that your fairy godmother comes to wash all the pots and pans.
This made 4 stacks, enough for two average eaters. But we snarfed it. Next time, I might be inclined to double it.