That I love bite sized food is no secret. An ideal weekend for me is the one spent with friends, fairy lights twinkling in the background and a platter full of little bites. Mini blue cheese and celery muffins, ham and date bites, barbeque cocktail sausages, caprese salad on a toothpick, lotus stem kebabs and now my new favorite. Smoked Salmon Roulade.
That I learnt at my masterclass at Treat. The BurJuman World Food Fest 2013. This was my first time at the BurJuman Festival and I sure did come back very pleased.
The stage was all set, the tools all laid out and the ingredients looked interesting to work with.
Our lesson of the day was a Smoked Salmon Roulade taught by Chef Diyan of Radisson Blu. Now the word roulade originates from the French word "rouler" which means"to roll". Typically, a roulade is a European dish consisting of a slice of meat rolled around a filling, such as cheese, vegetables, or other meats and is secured with a toothpick or a piece of string.The roulade is then sliced into rounds and served. And Chef Diyan did a modern take on it. A roulade that was simple to put together (sometimes they are so complicated and delicate that rolling them makes me nervous), very quick and had beautiful and clean flavors.
We were handed over our aprons and assigned our stations. There were three elements to the appetizer. The crepe, the filling and the salad to go with it.
For the crepe we took 60 gms of all purpose flour, 120 mls of milk, 1 egg and salt and pepper to taste. We also added some white sesame seeds to the mix which was a pretty interesting. And then proceeded to make crepes.
Next we put together the filling for the crepe. Some delicious and soft cream cheese, fresh chives and salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the roulade, place the pancakes on a flat surface, spread some of the cream cheese filling and top it with a big slice of smoked salmon. Now begin rolling it. After rolling, cut it into bite sized pieces at an angle (cutting at an angle will make it look prettier. Also cut the rough ends out so that all the pieces look the same and look clean). The pink salmon, the white filling and the off white crepes; the colours already look good.
While the crepes were cooling, we also made a salad and a very delicate Cheddar basket to hold it. Once again extremely easy to put together. Take some salad leaves and dress them up with some balsamic vinaigrette ( Half cup balsamic vinegar, a cup of extra virgin olive oil. two teaspoons of good mustard and salt to taste).
At this time also prepare a cocktail sauce; half mayo and half ketchup.
For the cheese basket, take a relatively warm non stick pan, sprinkle the entire pan with a generous amount of grated cheddar cheese. The layer of the cheese should be thick enough so that it can stand the weight of the salad inside. Now for the moment when you truly feel like a chef and get ready to hear lots of wows for the neat little trick that Chef Diyan taught us. Sshh...don't share this with your guests. Just act that you know a awful lot about plating:)
Flip out this cheese pancake onto a warm ceramic bowl and press the sides gently for the pancake to take the shape of the bowl. Leave it for a minute or two and take your edible bowl off the ceramic one. There you have it; your cheese bowl. Now go impress everyone.
Now for plating like a pro. Make a swoosh on the plate with the cocktail sauce.To make a swoosh, fill up a spoon with the sauce, tilt it over the plate so that it is nearly vertical and the sauce falls on the plate. Immediately tilt the spoon at a 45 degree angle and drag the spoon across the plate to give it a little tail.
Begin doting your swoosh with the roulade pieces, place the cheese basket with the salad in it at the other end. To finish dot the plate with some of the balsamic dressing. There you have it your pretty pro like plate. Dig into it and enjoy.
I wish I had more snaps and better snaps to show you each step. But with a spatula in one hand and a pan in the other and my eyes on the screen I didn't get a chance to take many and better snaps. However in the days to come I am going to try and update this post with visual instructions.
I know I am going to be making this roulade many many times in my kitchen for I loved the way the velvety salmon came together with the rich, glossy and sweet balsamic vinegar of the crunchy salad and ofcourse the sharpness of the cheddar basket which was both a visual and a gastronomic treat.
Do try this at home and let me know how it turned it out for you. Before I end this post, I have to thank some people. The very patient Chef Diyan who was flooded with questions from everyone and was still smiling, the team from BurJuman for putting together this masterclass and their PR agency, TRACCS for inviting me.
The festival that began on the 14th of May and concludes on the 25th of this month. If you haven't had the chance to attend it there is still some time. I know you would want to after reading my experience there :)
Disclaimer: All views expressed here are my own and I wasn't asked to write any of it by either BurJuman or TRACCS. I had such a great time there that I just had to share with all of you here. Hope you enjoyed reading it.
Images: Personal Album. While you enjoy reading this post with visuals.Please do not use them without asking. They belong to Orange Kitchens unless otherwise stated.