Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hello Failure, it's me.... again....

Stories good and bad.... that was my focus this year.  On average, I have a pretty good success rate in the kitchen.  I have a few meals that don't get at least one good rating, and even fewer that go straight ot the trash.  Enter holidays.  I don't know what happens on the holidays but I cook for days and end up in tears.  I assure you, there are few things as pathetic as a thirty-three year old woman standing amidst 11 scratch made dishes with a glass of champagne in one hand and a kleenex in the other. Interestingly enough, I had the holidays in mind when I attempted the French Friday's with Dorie recipe for Blini with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche.  Some traditions refuse to die.

I swear I followed the buckwheat recipe completely; precise measurements, resting time.... my result was a runny mess resembling some sort of ameba.  Tired, frustrated and worried the dough would ruin my brand new garbage disposal I slopped it into the trash and went to my recipe archives.   In my determination to not waste the smoked salmon and creme fraiche, I rediscovered Martha Stewart's Savory Shortbread.  With a few southern twists, I manipulated this recipe into the perfect canvas for our toppings, and quite possibly, an elegant addition to a Christmas Eve cocktail party.  

Savory Shortbread with Smoked Salmon and Creme Fraiche
Recipe Adapted from: Martha Stewart,
2 1/4 cup AP flour
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 cup milk
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and cayenne pepper and pulse.  Add the butter and pulse until the flour resmebles a coarse meal; 8-10 seconds. 
  2. Add cheese to the food processor and pulse to combine.  Add milk and Worcestershire sauce and pulse until dough just comes together. Have ready several pieces of parchment paper.
  3. Form the mixture into 2 one inch diameter logs.  Wrap each in parchment and chill in the refridgerator for at least 1 hour.  
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Unwrap chilled dough and slice into 1/4 inch slices.  
  5. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes rotating the baking pan halfway through.
These are divine treats that paired perfectly with the smoked salmon and creme fraiche.  I frozen the second log of dough and plan to defrost and test prior to the big Christmas Eve.... stay tuned.


  1. I totally have those moments where I realize the fruits of my labor are just not what I was going for. I would throw something (but I'd probably have to clean it up in addition to cleaning up the mess from what I just made).
    Way to perservere & find something that worked for you! The shortbread look like a great substitution.

  2. So frustrating that the blini didn't work out for you, but you really made a comeback with the shortbread. It sounds amazing, especially with the toppings. Onward and upward!