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Shannon’s Smoked Salmon Canapés with Lemon, Horseradish, and Dill     

This wonderful recipe for a classic canapé is from The Ski Country Cookbook by Barbara Scott-Goodman (Chronicle Books). Developed by Shannon Wheeler, who helped her with the book, it goes well with drinks at the start of a party. It works best, according to Scott-Goodman, made with hot-smoked salmon, “which crumbles well and has a more pronounced smoky flavor than a cold-smoked, lox-style salmon.” The latter can be used “in a pinch,” she says, if chopped fine.

4 ounces hot-smoked salmon, skin removed, and flaked
1 cup crème fraîche
2 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (from a jar), more if needed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus 25 tiny sprigs for garnish
2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 sheet (about 9 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
About 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, for garnish

Crumble the salmon into a small bowl and gently stir together with the crème fraîche, horseradish, chopped dill, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Chill for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour to allow the flavors to blend and the texture to firm up; the longer the filling sits, however, the milder the horseradish flavor becomes, so taste and add more if needed.

Heat oven to 400º F. Lay the pastry sheet on a lightly floured counter, and roll just to smooth it out into a 10-inch square. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, stamp out about 25 rounds of puff pastry. Arrange the rounds on a baking sheet, and bake in the hot oven until a rich golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Using your index finger, lightly press down the center of the puffed disks to create a well in the center. Put the chilled salmon mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip or in a heavy-duty zip-top bag; snip a 1/2 inch off one corner of the bag. Pipe the filling into each puff until the mixture is even with the top. Garnish each top with a few capers and a small sprig of dill; serve immediately. Makes 25 canapés  

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