Crique Stephanoise (Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon)

Crique Stephanoise (Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon)
Adapted from Daniel Boulud
Time: 45 minutes

For the Latkes:
1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes, (approximately 6 small potatoes), peeled and grated
1 extra-large egg
3 tbsp chopped chives
1 tbsp fresh finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped black olives (optional)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 to 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for greasing ring molds.

For the Topping:
Coarse salt to taste
2 tbsp sour cream
4 oz smoked salmon, cut in strips
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp finely chopped chives
1 tsp finely chopped
black olives
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp finely chopped parsley
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on the plate.

Put the grated potato in a medium bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir in the egg, chives, parsley and olives. Season with salt and pepper, and stir well to combine.

To make large criques, warm 1-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over high heat. With your fingers, scoop out one half of the potato mixture, squeeze out the excess liquid between your hands and drop in the center of the pan. Using a fork or spatula, flatten the mixture firmly. Cook the crique over low to medium heat for about 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until the exterior is crisp and golden brown and the interior is tender. Repeat using the remaining olive oil and potato mixture.

To make small criques, lightly brush the insides of three 3-1/2"-diameter ring molds with olive oil. Heat the pan with additional oil, and place the molds into the pan. Squeeze the excess liquid out of the potato mixture between your hands, and place 1-1/2 tablespoons inside each ring. Proceed as above, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side. Using tongs, remove the molds from the criques and gently press with a spatula. Flip and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until the exterior is crisp and golden brown and the interior is tender. Set the criques aside. Repeat until remaining olive oil and potato mixture are used up.

To serve, sprinkle the criques with salt and top with a dollop of sour cream. Place a small mound of the smoked salmon on top, and drizzle some of the lemon juice over the salmon. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, chives and black olives, and season with pepper. Garnish with parsley, and drizzle some olive oil around the plate. Serve immediately.

Yield: Approximately 2 large criques or 10 small criques.


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