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Potato Latkes with Smoked Salmon, Quail Eggs and Sevruga Caviar

This recipe calls for quail eggs, but you may substitute 6 medium-size, hard-cooked eggs. Cool them in a bowl of ice water, then peel and cut each into 8 wedges. You'll have enough for 40 canapés with a few extras in case any crumble.

Ingredients:

  • 20 quail eggs
  • 1 1/2 lb. Idaho potatoes, peeled and shredded
      on the large holes of a grater or in a food
      processor
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and shredded on the
      large holes of a grater or in a food processor
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 6 oz. sliced smoked salmon, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 6 oz. sevruga caviar

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Gently spoon the eggs into the boiling water and cook exactly 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, drain and transfer the eggs immediately to the ice water. When cool, drain and peel carefully. Cover eggs with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Squeeze the potatoes and onion with your hands to remove the excess water. Put the potatoes and onion in a medium bowl and add the beaten egg, parsley and 1 Tbs. of the chives. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to combine.

Warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large nonstick fry pan over high heat. Shape the potato mixture between your hands to form 1 1/2-inch diameter latkes, about 1/4 inch thick. When the oil is hot, add the latkes, a few at a time (do not overcrowd the pan), and fry until brown underneath, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a spatula, turn each latke over and fry until the exterior is crisp and golden brown and the interior is tender when pierced with a knife, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer latkes to a paper towel–lined plate and repeat with the remaining potato mixture, using more olive oil as needed, to make about 40 latkes. Season with salt and serve immediately, or reheat in a 325°F oven for 4 to 5 minutes before serving.

To serve, slice the quail eggs in half lengthwise and place one half, sliced side up, on top of each warm latke. Drape a salmon square over each egg and garnish with about 1 tsp. sevruga caviar and a sprinkling of the remaining chives. Serve immediately.
Makes 40 canapés.
Daniel Boulud, Chef, Restaurant Daniel, New York City