Seeking inspiration in different ways these days. Since we can't go outside and explore nature and farmers markets and whatever else, I'm looking toward books and art. This is a recipe from Impressionist artist Claude Monet. Yes, that Monet who painted the water lilies and all that, who was, apparently, quite the culinist.
Recipe first, my notes, resources, and suggestions follow.
SMOKED SALMON GOAT CHEESE SPREAD from CLAUDE MONET
1½ cups fresh goat cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons half & half
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon peel
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ pound Norwegian smoked salmon slices, roughly chopped
1 baguette, thinly sliced
Place goat cheese, half & half, chives, thyme, lemon peel, and salt in a medium bowl.
Using a wooden spoon, mix well. Add salmon and fold in.
Transfer to a serving bowl, place on a platter, and surround with baguette slices.
Can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.
NOTES and RESOURCES
- Goat Cheese. Fresh goat cheese is called "chevre." If you can't find goat cheese, use cream cheese, or even a thick, strained yogurt. The flavor will be different, but the vibe will be the same.
- Half & Half. This is half milk, half cream. Use whatever milk or cream you have to thin the goat cheese to a consistency that makes it spreadable.
- Chives and Thyme. I substituted scallions for the chives because that's what I had on hand. You can also use dried herbs for the spread, just use about half the amount, and try to make the spread a little in advance so the herbs have some time to rehydrate.
- Smoked salmon. Norwegian smoked salmon is the cold-smoked, shiny, slippery salmon you usually see served very thinly sliced. You can use any smoked salmon, cold-smoked, hot-smoked, "lox"-style; I had a filet of hot-smoked salmon, which is drier, and flakes into larger pieces. Hot-smoked salmon is my preference for dips and spreads.
- Use whatever bread, somewhat sturdy crackers, vegetables you have to dip or spread. I always love cucumbers, snaps peas, and large slices of radish to use in place of crackers or bread. The crackers in the photo are these.
- Drink Pairing. Sparkling wine is a perfect match to the salt of the smoked salmon, and the effervescence will cut through the richness of the goat cheese. Cava (Spanish), Prosecco (Italian), and of course my fav fav fav, Champagne.