SMOKED SALMON TOASTS WITH CREME FRAICHE AND MALT VINEGAR SYRUP (for eight)
“The Irish are famous for their smoked salmon, so it’s a natural for a St. Patrick’s Day party. Of course, you don’t have to use Irish smoked salmon for these toasts; any cold-smoked salmon will work well, but if you’re feeling flush, you will be treating yourself to salmon that is super-silky in texture with a distinct smokiness that comes from spending time near smoldering hardwoods such as oak and beechwood.” Ruth Cousineau
½ cup apple cider
¼ cup malt vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons mild honey
one 4 inch long sprig fresh thyme
sixteen ½ inch thick diagonal slices from a baguette
½ cup creme fraiche
½ pound thinly sliced smoked salmon
1. Preheat oven to 350* with rack in the middle.
2. Put baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake until pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. While bread is toasting, boil cider, vinegar, honey and thyme in a small, nonreactive saucepan until syrupy and reduced to about ¼ cup, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
4. Spread toasts with creme fraiche and top with salmon. Drizzle with malt syrup.
NOTE: Bread can be toasted one day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Make sure toasts are completely cool before storing them. If they soften slightly overnight, just rewarm them in a 300* oven for a few minutes. Syrup can be made 3 days ahead and kept chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.
from Gourmet Live, March, 2011